Category Archives: planning

Nuances

The Spirit of the Bayonet

The Guard Position

“The will to meet and destroy the enemy in hand-to-hand combat is the spirit of the bayonet. It springs from the fighter’s confidence, courage, and grim determination, and is the result of vigorous training. Through training, the fighting instinct of the individual soldier is developed to the highest point. The will to use the bayonet first appears in the trainee when he begins to handle it with facility, and increases as his confidence grows. The full development of his physical prowess and complete confidence in his weapon culminates in the final expression of the spirit of the bayonet — fierce and relentless destruction of the enemy.”

Field Manual 23-25 Bayonet –October 1943 edition

Note the subtle distinction between the ‘spirit’ of the bayonet, “The will to meet and destroy the enemy in hand-to-hand combat” and the ‘final expression’ of the spirit of the bayonet, “fierce and relentless destruction of the enemy.” The first is philosophical, the second operational.

Recognizing how to put a concept into operation is an important step in turning information into knowledge. For instance, how can we operationalize the “O-O-D-A Loop?” My colleague Melody Lauer once asked me:

How do I use the OODA Loop? That’s not clear to me.

At the time, I didn’t have a good answer for her.

Now, I would say that the basis for making Boyd’s process operational is to dig deep into Orient. Boyd himself said:

Orientation is the schwerpunkt. It shapes the way we interact with the environment–hence orientation shapes the way we observe, the way we decide, the way we act. [emphasis mine] –Organic Design for Command and Control, slide 16

“I’ll shoot anyone I find in my house” is an example of an input to Orientation, probably a Cultural Heritage artifact from English common law of centuries ago. When we acquire New Information through training, observation, or experience, that also becomes an input to our Orientation. Then comes the hard part, Analysis / Synthesis. All the other inputs to Orientation coalesce through Analysis / Synthesis into decision-making that occurs ahead of an incident rather than during the incident. We may need to modify the plan and decisions as an incident unfolds, but that’s much easier and faster to do than making a plan up on the spot.

Examining, expanding, and integrating all of our Orientation inputs is what allows us to ‘make’ good decisions quickly. When we have formed a solid Orientation, we are actually not making decisions in the moment, rather we are ‘choosing’ from a menu of pre-made decisions available to us because we’ve already considered the benefits, objectives, and consequences and made a rational decision about what’s in our best interests. It’s how we avoid making Serious Mistakes. http://seriousgunownermistakes.com/

My thanks to Melody and Joseph Edward Timbs for provoking me to write this post. Also thanks to Steve Moses, Shawn Vincent, and Don West of CCWSafe for inviting me to participate in a thought provoking podcast about the topic.

Goal Setting for 2021

The book The Practicing Mind https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007C8NRSA/ was written by an accomplished musician and concert piano renovator. It contains the following story about when he started playing golf as an adult. The lesson in the story is well worth considering.

even though they had played golf weekly for many years, they still couldn’t accomplish basic things, such as getting the ball up in the air.

What I learned from golf was that all my failures in music had stemmed from my lack of understanding the proper mechanics of practicing, of the process of picking a goal, whatever that may be, and applying a steady effort toward achieving it.

The passage about ‘picking a goal, whatever that may be’ is particularly important in developing competency with firearms. The ‘whatever that may be’ part should be well considered as part of the goal setting process. It’s not uncommon for gunowners to place a high priority on marksmanship tasks. However, in the context of using firearms for Personal Protection, there are many implied tasks that complement or even surpass marksmanship in importance.

  • Being aware
  • Verbalization
  • Accessing a weapon
  • Moving from place to place safely (e.g. without having an Unintentional Discharge)
  • Making reasonable and appropriate decisions
  • Coordinating with friends and loved ones
  • Etc.

The ammunition deficit will give us all time to work on non-shooting tasks and skills that are, or at least should be, an integral part of our Personal Protection plan. For those who place a priority on their safety and their loved ones’ safety, range time can be re-prioritized to time to practice other skills. Some of those complementary skills do not even involve handling firearms. Others are easily accomplished with an inert or even toy gun.

The enjoyment aspect of the shooting sports is another worthwhile goal. My shooting goal this year is to achieve my Distinguished Expert rating in Shotgun from the NRA. Since I already hold two DE ratings, I will become one of the few Triple Distinguished Experts. My gun club is rebuilding our rimfire range, so I’ll also be able to get back into smallbore rifle shooting, a highly disciplined activity.

On the other hand, my interest in ‘Boyd’s Process,’ of which the ‘O-O-D-A Loop’ is part, has been rekindled. I am going to make a concerted effort to delve deeply into the entire process and produce a written piece and presentation for my Patrons about integrating all the parts of Boyd’s thinking into a cohesive paradigm. That falls into the ‘making reasonable and appropriate decisions’ and is only peripherally concerned with firearms, other than as a backup tool.

Think about what your goals are for 2021 for firearms and Personal Protection. Decide what a measurable indicator for reaching each of your goals would be and then make a plan for getting there. That is a different process than ‘New Year’s resolutions,’ which generally are ephemeral and therefore more easily dismissed than a goal with a concrete plan.

FTC notice: I receive no commission for any links mentioned in this post.

Riding Shotgun With Charlie

#mindsetmonday

I almost never listen to podcasts I’ve been a guest on, which is probably a mistake. Since Charlie put the clip of me with my long gun (Zombie MP5) in his intro, I had to listen to this one, though.

RSWC CW with MP5 airsoft

There’s a lot of good information in this episode that doesn’t usually get touched on in the industry. I’m very happy that Charlie gave me the opportunity to share it with the community.

e.g. My father used to say to me ‘son, you’re much more sophisticated about this than I am’ and I want my clients eventually to be more sophisticated about this than I am.

The Negative Outcomes mentioned are detailed extensively in my book Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com/ .

The LAPD Retired Officer Course and numerous other courses that can be practiced at both indoor and outdoor ranges is in my book Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Chasing and shooting

Chasing a criminal after they have attempted to break contact is not the way to set yourself up for success. Shooting the criminal at the conclusion of the chase is a good way to end up in prison. It’s common enough to be one of the 11 categories of Negative Outcomes in Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2617872-ebooks-true-crime-serious-mistakes-gunowners-make.html

A Miami man who allegedly chased an unarmed burglar and shot him several times as he begged for his life is facing an attempted murder charge.

https://nypost.com/2020/12/04/miami-man-charged-with-attempted-murder-after-shooting-burglar/

Prior planning prevents poor performance. If you have a firearm for Personal Protection, don’t just think about the incident, plan for the aftermath.

Have a plan

As the late William Aprill was fond of saying,

Spontaneity is overrated.

“That’s what heart surgery is,” he said with a soft laugh. “It’s a script. To you, it probably looked like I was just sewing those collars into Meeko’s chest any old way. But every motion was planned, tested, practiced. Turn my hand eight degrees and poke the needle through; swivel my hand back 22 degrees and draw the needle up four inches; turn my hand back just so and bring it to the left a half inch: a precise number of stitches, pulled just so tight and no tighter. What heart surgery takes is remembering an incredibly long and complicated script and following it exactly, step by step.”

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/no-pulse-how-doctors-reinvented-the-human-heart

The idea of having a script, i.e., a very specific game plan, doesn’t just apply to heart surgery. One of the learned aspects of firearms competition is to develop a plan ahead of time and then follow it through.

https://www.20min.ch/story/schusswechsel-nach-einbruch-in-geschaeft-eine-person-verletzt-108142673425

The quaint Google translate version of the story’s precis reads:

That’s what it’s about

* On Friday [note that the incident actually occurred the previous Wednesday] night there was an exchange of fire between the owner of a gun shop and burglars who had tried to gain access to his shop in Wallbach AG [Switzerland].

* What the perpetrators did not expect: The owner is a marksman and former Swiss champion in dynamic shooting [IPSC].

* One person was injured in the shooting. The POlice assume that this is one of the perpetrators, as no injuries were found on site.

Whether it’s IPSC, IDPA, GSSF, ICORE or some other form of competition is largely irrelevant. What is important is the concept of having a game plan ahead of time and then putting it into action when you get the ‘GO’ signal.

Another ‘Worst Possible Case’ – Interrupting a Murderer

As I have commented before, there is no single ‘Worst Possible Case.’ Several news outlets reported the murder of an entrepreneur and venture capitalist this past Monday (7/13/2020). The murder occurred in his expensive ($2.25 million) high rise condo in New York City. It was a gruesome crime with the apparent intent to ‘disappear’ the victim.

https://nypost.com/2020/07/14/decapitated-dismembered-body-found-in-nyc-apartment/

There are several pertinent points but one that is seldom talked about is our reaction to finding a body. We have no idea what a killer’s timeline is nor even if the killer is still present or nearby.

Another source added it appeared that the killer had been “interrupted.”

A working theory is that because the body parts were still present and the saw still plugged in, the murderer hadn’t finished with the grisly task of dismemberment. Although the victim was attacked and most likely killed early Monday afternoon, his relative (either sister or cousin, the reports conflict) discovered the body on Tuesday afternoon. All things considered, the ‘cleaning up’ may have been going on for over a day.

wolfe cleanup

Probably the best Course of Action upon discovering a body is to RUN the other way as fast as you can and when in a safe place, call the POlice. Secondarily, if you are armed, be prepared to engage the killer without hesitation. If they’ve already killed someone else, they may not think twice about trying to kill you.

Note also the macabre, but most likely unintentional, dark humor of the POlice describing the decapitated victim as “unconscious and unresponsive.”

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/founder-of-ride-hailing-app-gokada-found-dismembered-in-new-york-apartment-20200716-p55cgn.html

As is often the case, follow the money to the alleged murderer.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/17/us/fahim-saleh-killing/index.html

To avoid any confusion, I won’t list my books in this post because they’re not free. If you would be interested in purchasing any of my shooting workbooks for handgun or rifle, they are available from the menu at the top of the page. As the American Insurgency escalates, you may find having a functional knowledge of the weapons you own to be useful.

‘I live in a nice neighborhood’

This week, a 50-year-old transient man (aka bum) was sentenced to 141 years to life in state prison after being convicted for a 2014 crime spree in the high end Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles.

https://da.lacounty.gov/media/news/man-sentenced-carjacking-kidnapping-pacific-palisades-crime-spree

scumbag-BRIAN-THOMAS-CRUZ

Note from his picture that he was already a violent bad actor. The criminal used a box cutter as his weapon for this series of crimes. The crime spree occurred on August 11, 2014. He was sentenced on July 6, 2020.

There were three crime scenes in the high end neighborhood where the day’s drama began on a sunny Monday morning at 7:45 a.m. First, there was a home invasion in an apartment complex, which currently has a rental rate of $4,800 per month. After two subsequent crashes, including a second car that he carjacked, he invaded a home which currently has an estimated value of $2,705,500. In that home, he threatened the female occupant and stole the occupants’ Lexus.

Lessons to be Learned

Keep your doors closed and locked. Have a plan and be ready for unwelcome visitors. Serious crime knows no borders, regardless of how nice your neighborhood is.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)

Conducting a Defense – Terrain Analysis for the Homeowner

The AR-15 rifle has become popular as a tool for Home Defense. However, there hasn’t been much discussion about how to use rifles to deal with deadly threats outside and yet threatening one’s home. The escalation of Civil Disorder has heightened our awareness of a broader range of necessary home defense. Conceptually, this might be considered FORWARD Home Defense.

One of the first aspects of preparing for such a Forward Defense is to conduct a terrain analysis of the area outside the home. This analysis should consider both the Area of Influence (where a homeowner could actually disrupt an attack) and the Area of Interest (where a homeowner could detect an attacker’s intent outside of the Area of Influence.) We can use the Terrain component of METT-TC as a structure for our terrain analysis. The 1992 edition of Field Manual 7-8 INFANTRY RIFLE PLATOON AND SQUAD https://www13.shu.edu/offices/rotc/upload/FM-7-8.pdf describes the analysis as follows:

(3) Terrain. The leader considers the effect of terrain and weather on enemy and friendly forces using the guidelines below (OCOKA):

(a) Observation and fields of fire. The leader considers ground that allows him observation of the enemy throughout his area of operation. He considers fields of fire in terms of the characteristics of the weapons available to him; for example, maximum effective range, the requirement for grazing fire, and the arming range and time of flight for antiarmor weapons.

(b) Cover and concealment. The leader looks for terrain that will protect him from direct and indirect fires (cover) and from aerial and ground observation (concealment). (Author’s note: Cover and Concealment also applies to what the Enemy might use.)

(c) Obstacles. In the attack, the leader considers the effect of restrictive terrain on his ability to maneuver. In the defense, he considers how he will tie in his obstacles to the terrain to disrupt, turn, fix, or block an enemy force and protect his own forces from enemy assault.

(d) Key terrain. Key terrain is any locality or area whose seizure or retention affords a marked advantage to either combatant. The leader considers key terrain in his selection of objectives, support positions, and routes in the offense, and on the positioning of his unit in the defense.

(e) Avenues of approach. An avenue of approach is an air or ground route of an attacking force of a given size leading to its objective or key terrain in its path. In the offense, the leader identifies the avenue of approach that affords him the greatest protection and places him at the enemy’s most vulnerable spot. In the defense, the leader positions his key weapons along the avenue of approach most likely to be used by the enemy.

(f) Weather. In considering the effects of weather, the leader is most interested in visibility and trafficability.

Some aspects of the terrain analysis may surprise you. For instance, Google Maps can be used to measure distances around your home. You might find that the distance from your front porch to the furthest Avenue of Approach and Point of Likely Cover is 236 feet (79 yards).

Doing a terrain analysis gives you an idea of the area you need to defend and also what tools you might use to defend the approaches to your home.

There will be further explanation on my Patreon page https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor but this is worthwhile food for thought to start.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Things you should know about body armor

I have body armor and am a firm believer in keeping it close. Since I’m not an expert, here’s better information than I could provide.

https://www.activeresponsetraining.net/seven-things-you-dont-know-about-body-armor

You won’t be able to fire that ammo or eat all that stored food if you get shot and die because you didn’t have body armor.

The package deal for my books is still going. The package is available as an immediate download of all four ebooks at this link:

https://store.payloadz.com/details/2644448-ebooks-sports-shooting-drills-package.html

 

Making friends with other gun carriers

(second in a series)

DALE CARNEGIE’S SECRETS OF SUCCESS (nee The Golden Book) is a valuable resource for improving our relationships with other members of the gun carrying community. The hard copy I have is six pages long. I’ve kept it on my desk for over 20 years since I went through Dale Carnegie training. The book is available online as a free download.

https://www.dalecarnegie.com/en/resources/dale-carnegies-secrets-of-success

The first part of the book is a three page section called Principles from How to Win Friends and Influence People. It covers three topics.

  • Become a Friendlier Person
  • Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  • Be A Leader

Each of the topics has a series of numbered bullet points that can guide our interactions with people. Here’s how we might apply those Principles in the situation of seeing someone whose way of carrying isn’t what we would ordinarily recommend.

Become a Friendlier Person

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

5. Smile.

2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.

  • You’re carrying a gun – Excellent!
  • Your holster has a safety strap.

6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

  • Introduce yourself
  • Ask the other person’s first name if they don’t give it in return.

7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

  • What kind of gun is that? (Regardless if you know what it is.)
  • How long have you been carrying?
  • Have you done any training?

Questions are powerful, much more powerful than criticism, condemnation, or complaints. By starting a friendly interaction with a person and then asking kindly questions, we have the opportunity to be guides to people who are less knowledgeable than ourselves. It puts us in the position to Win Friends to our community and influence them to Success. Our people skills are the single most powerful weapon in our arsenal.

We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.

–Benjamin Franklin