THE PODCAST

Elevating the conversation about all things tactical.

Spotting Zebras

Spotting Zebras

Humans are excellent at pattern recognition…if they’ve gathered enough data to establish a baseline. Whether it’s noticing an abnormal heart rhythm, an unusual response to a squad car parked at an interdiction checkpoint, or the activity leading up to an ambush in some far-off deployment, being aware of what’s normal and what’s not can be a crucial skill.

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The Power of Professionalism

The Power of Professionalism

There’s a high expectation of professionalism in the military and law enforcement worlds, but what does that mean? It’s easy to mistake the basics of bearing and rule-following as learned in early training for professionalism, but Mike and Jim point out that the professional is trusted to understand the situation well enough to take ownership of it, and the competence and expertise to make the hard decisions.

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Accentuate the Positive

Accentuate the Positive

Positivity isn’t magic. You can’t optimism your way through a situation you aren’t ready for any more than you can mindset your way through a fight. Productive positivity, however, is never allowing yourself to say “this sucks” without adding “…and this is how I’m going to fix it.” Listen in as Jim offers his thoughts on a practical positive attitude.

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Go Touch Grass

Go Touch Grass

While “self care” is a term with a bit of a woo-woo feel to it, it’s necessary for people in high stress jobs to take time to depressurize, and getting out in nature is a great way to do it. Jim takes the time on deployments to plan his hikes for when he gets home; what’s your outdoor stress release?

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Managing Resourceful Humans

Managing Resourceful Humans

Picking the human talent for your team and carefully developing them once they’re selected is a core element of leadership, and “management” is not a dirty word. Knowing the traits you need and attracting people with those traits is a foundational skill for any team leader. Keeping those people there and motivated is where the management comes in.

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You Have Questions, We Have Answers

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

For the first episode of the New Year, Mike and Jim tap one of the podcast’s most important resources: You, the listeners! We asked the members of the Tactical Tangents Facebook discussion group for a list of questions, with the promise of podcast swag for the best one. (If you’re not in the group, get in there and join!)

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Getting the Band Together

Getting the Band Together

Some people are daring and some are risk-averse. There are process people and results people. For every rebel, there’s an i-dotting, t-crossing rules follower. All these personality types can bring something to a team; this kind of diversity really is strength! Selecting opposites that compliment each other is a valuable leadership skill. Most important is the self-awareness of what you bring to your team, and who can back you up in your blind spot.

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The Inner Game of Thriving

The Inner Game of Thriving

Tactical skills and physical fitness can help survive the fight, but what about emotional fitness after the fight is over? In addition to common symptoms like sleep disruption and reliving the incident, high responders may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of feeling isolated and out of control afterward. In this episode Ross & Mike talk about therapy resources, the importance of finding meaning outside the job, and preventative care ahead of time for mental resilience in the wake of a critical incident.

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No Shi…Kidding, There I was…

No Shi…Kidding, There I was…

Hard landings, cockpit equipment malfunctions, fires, and near-miss almost midair collisions while in an inverted spin, these situations that were terrifying at the time can be humorous in retrospect as long as everyone lived. More importantly, they all offer the sort of lessons that can’t be learned from a PowerPoint presentation, only by things going badly wrong in real time.Jim’s here to pass his hard won lessons on to you. And watch out for pterodactyls!

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Symphony of Terror

Symphony of Terror

The Mumbai incident, perpetrated by a squad of ten terrorists who had been through a rigorous selection and training process, introduced multiple novel problems worth considering. What happens when there are multiple shooters at different scenes simultaneously? When they have access to serious arms, including grenades, possibly provided by a foreign actor? When they use structure fires as a weapon? When they have outside command-and-control monitoring the news and communicating with the shooters via cell phone? These and other complications inherent in an attack like this are examined in this episode.

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A Scared Cop is a Dangerous Cop

A Scared Cop is a Dangerous Cop

The most notorious manifestation of this phenomenon is the “’Oh Sh*t!’ Bang”, where a scared or startled cop results in a lawful-but-awful shooting that might have been avoided by better stress management and more confidence in the officer’s physical skills. However, Mike also explains the many other places that the poorly managed limbic response can rear its ugly head: Bad communication in stressful situations, indecision or half-decisions that allow a developing situation to get much worse, and more.

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Countering the Stalker

Countering the Stalker

Stalking is a problem that often isn’t recognized until it’s well out of hand, and advice from friends and relatives is often limited to platitudes about restraining orders or buying a gun. Our hosts take a look at the nuts and bolts of the problem with an eye to strategy and the recognition that legal solutions can be frustratingly time consuming.

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Training: The Good, The Bad & The Dangerous

Training: The Good, The Bad & The Dangerous

In a crossover episode of Tactical Tangents, Mike sits down with Danimal of The Thin Brewed Line to talk about setting up a training program to keep officers alive on the streets…and in the training environment. In a dangerous profession, the danger shouldn’t be coming from inside the program!

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The Big Ideas: What We’re All About

The Big Ideas: What We’re All About

What are we doing here and why are we doing it? With an assist from Mike, Jim lays out the secret; the keys to the whole mission of Tactical Tangents. These are the key concepts to helping the Doers do things better in the tactical world, whether military, law enforcement, or general personal defense.
From Waco to Uvalde, and Combat Planning to Zombie Prepping, Jim walks us through the key ideas in the Tactical Tangents Podcast. We hit OODA Loops, Flight Safety, Shooting Training, Talent Selection, and Personal Resilience.

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Fighting at Night

With some reasonable preparation, proportional to your personal risk of having to fight at night — you can use the darkness to gain and maintain gross overmatch. Start by sorting out your own personal risk, which should drive your investment in training and equipment. Consider both technical and non-technical ways you can improve your ability to see and screw with your adversary’s ability to see.

How to Handle a Traffic Stop

Traffic stops are dangerous and unpleasant. A lot of forces converge to make traffic stops dangerous: cops get killed on traffic stops, so they are anxious about them, some communities feel unfairly targeted and perceive a risk from the police, and everyone is at risk to distracted and drunk motorists passing by the stop. No one likes being pulled over, especially if they don’t trust the police. There has to be something we can do to make this whole thing safer and easier for everyone

These aren’t my pants…

The subtle, contextual cues that guide our instincts are often tough to put our finger on, but they are also the reason we might approach one person or situation differently than another. The last thing we want to do is leave those decisions up to someone else’s interpretation. It is difficult to teach what stress, deception, and threatening body language look like in training.