Elevating the conversation about all things tactical.
Your Candle Only Has Two Ends
In any tight-knit organization, attitudes are contagious, and that goes double for lousy ones. It’s common for the word of hard-chargers attracted to “tactical” work to brag about the amount of time they put in, for example the number of hours worked, and treat it as a benchmark. But the more the work load piles up, the more easily frustrated you get, and that can feed the bad attitude spiral. Listen in as we talk about ways to reduce work-related fatigue and maintain a healthy work/life balance…tactically.
Most Danger Doesn’t Come from Strangers
The statistical fact of the matter is that most victimization comes from people who look like us and are already in our social circles. That’s extra true about sex crimes, and super extra true about sex crimes against children. Tune in as we discuss teaching ourselves, loved ones, and especially our kids about understanding social norms, establishing boundaries, and the importance of informing someone in authority.
The Bear, The Dragon, and You
While neither of our great power opponents would benefit from a shooting war with the United States at this point in time, Jim points out that they are both conducting war by other means; the struggles are already underway. Whether by economic means, attempts to control raw material sources, or meddling with public opinion via social media channels, it’s important to be aware of these methods. Listen to this episode to have it all laid out.
Operationally Supporting Supporters who Operate
In both the military and law enforcement universes, there’s often an understandable amount of friction between the people out where the action is and those who help them get there and support them in their work. In this episode Jim and Mike discuss ways to smooth cooperation between the people behind the scenes and the officer on the street or the pilot in the seat.
Not only does viewing driving from an Operational Risk Management standpoint apply to doing the high-speed stuff while sawing at the wheel to keep it between the ditches while running code, it entails a lot more aspects. How do you manage your driving to take into account the possibility of road rage from other motorists? Do you stay on top of vehicle maintenance in order to keep from getting stranded in a desert or a blizzard…or stuck on the side of the road and having to deal with whatever sketchy weirdo stops to “help”? Listen in as these topics and more are covered.
There’s Nothing “Friendly” About “Friendly Fire”
We know that fog and friction make it harder to be aware of the environment and cause simple tasks to become more difficult, so how do we mitigate these factors and prevent “own goals”? Listen to this episode to find out.
You Can’t Spell “Officer” without “Office”
Jim sounds off on his favorite topic: Management is not a dirty word, to be shunned in favor of “leadership”. Rather, management is part of leadership. It’s the art & science of allocating and coordinating resources to meet a goal.
Ending the Threat, Reasonably
Incapacitating a threat by means of lethal force requires certainfactors to be met in order to be considered reasonable, and it’s not a blank check. In the laws of war, there’s a difference between sailors boarding a small boat from a sinking ship because they’re out of the fight and marines climbing into small landing craft to get into the fight. In civilian self defense, each shot needs to be defensible, and that means reasonably explainable.
Growing into Solving Problems
Unlike the fixed mindset in which you’re dropped onto the planet as either Someone Who Can or Someone Who Can’t based on some immutable set of skills, a growth mindset is one in which you see yourself as an active participant, learning from each experience to better deal with the next one. Mike explains why one of these is not only better for dealing with the incident, but also dealing with the aftermath.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!)
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.
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