Prior to September 11th, 2001, the face of America’s enemies had a different look. It’s not that Islamic extremism was new, or that terrorism wasn’t on the radar—of course it was. But in terms of defending the homeland, our attention was focused elsewhere prior to 9/11. The threats we took most seriously involved missile defense, espionage, and enemy air power. That changed in 2001.

A lot of things changed with it. In the aftermath of 9/11, our battle fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan helped us refocus our understanding of trauma medicine. Tourniquets became not only accepted as a life-saving intervention, but new devices were invented and refined over years of combat and have permeated their way into the pockets of not only soldiers and police officers, but also hospitals and private citizens. Hemostatic agents—products like Celox and Quikclot designed to assist our natural clotting ability—evolved from troublesome caustic powders to impregnated gauze that is safe enough to buy over-the-counter. Wound packing—the sort of technique that you might have only seen on MASH or in old war movies, is now being taught at your local Stop the Bleed course.

America’s military forces have transformed into a remarkably effective and synergistic blend of airpower, ingenuity, and unwavering resilience. Special Operations Forces have tempered early lessons from the 1970s and 80s to become the go-to warfighting tool, and an instrument of influence not only in conventional forces, but also in public safety and corporate America. In line with the Tactical Tangents theme emphasizing “People, Ideas, Hardware—in that order,” it’s noteworthy that our military veterans are some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, a default assortment of motivational speakers and market-influencers, and widely accepted among the ranks of politicians and the entertainment industry.

Then again, maybe that’s part of what hasn’t changed about America since 2001. As the pendulum swings and we shift our attention back towards other threats, what remains constant is that we are, by our nature and heritage, Leaders. We, the People, thrive in the face of adversity, and rise against any challenge—No matter how impossible or daring it may seem. We often disagree with each other, like two stubborn little brothers fighting over the iPad. At times, we stand divided and vilify those we disagree with, because we so passionately want our voice to be heard, and our determination to be unmistakable. It is the courage of our People and our allies—for Liberty, and Justice, for all—that make us great.

Mike Doyle

Mike Doyle


Mike is a full-time police officer and tactical medic. He currently works as a K9 handler, SWAT team member, and Police Trainer. Mike started Tactical Tangents as part of his fundamental purpose to save lives. His goal is to enhance the survival of police officers and concerned citizens by helping them become better, smarter, faster, and more efficient. His opinions are for informational purposes only and do not reflect those of his employer or any other government agency.



THE GUARDIAN OF THE GOLDEN GATE, Retired CHP Sgt. Kevin Briggs has been credited with talking over 200 people out of jumping to the death from the Golden Gate Bridge. Coming soon.

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