THE PODCAST

Elevating the conversation about all things tactical.

Terrain, the Unfair Advantage: Using OCOKA for Mission Planning

Terrain, the Unfair Advantage: Using OCOKA for Mission Planning

Jim explains how to analyze, exploit, and change the terrain you are fighting in to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent – whether in a parking lot or a battlefield. Walking you from Thermopylae to the Taiwan Straits to the engine block of your police car and the desks of your classroom, we help you assess and understand your operating environment.

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Isaac Returns Home: What to expect from Army Basic Training

Isaac Returns Home: What to expect from Army Basic Training

One of our favorite and recurring guests, Isaac, just got back from Army Basic Training and shares some insights and stories that might help anyone getting ready to ship out as an enlisted soldier. This is a useful conversation if you want to know what to expect from Basic Training aka Army OSUT (One Station Unit Training). He is one step closer to his dream of becoming a Special Forces Soldier/Green Beret.

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The JonBenet Ramsey Murder Mystery

The JonBenet Ramsey Murder Mystery

In the mid-90s a little girl was reported to be kidnapped but was later found dead in the basement of her large, Boulder CO home. The case remains unsolved today, and several procedural errors on behalf of the officers and investigators who responded to the scene tainted our best chances to identify and prosecute Jon Benet’s killer. Many believe the parents or her older brother were to blame. A sex offender claimed to be responsible but there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove it. Some think that the family’s wealth and political ties had something to do with it. We may not ever know the truth. Mike and Jim give a synopsis of the event and talk about some of the mis-steps that might have helped detectives solve the mystery.

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“I would just shoot him,” and other imaginary outcomes.

“I would just shoot him,” and other imaginary outcomes.

Most of us have daydreamed, imagined, and rehearsed what certain survival or self-defense encounters will look like in our minds, so we are going to make fun of our younger-selves and shed some light on something we are all guilty of: The Tactical Fantasy. This episode is about making sure that we ground those fantasies in reality. This goes beyond truck guns and the Zombie Apocalypse, it also speaks to the OODA loop, tactics, risk management, and other important concepts. Mike and Jim walk through some practical steps to stage our equipment, preparedness, and mindset accordingly.

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The Millennium Bomber: Terrorist Attack Thwarted by CBP

The Millennium Bomber: Terrorist Attack Thwarted by CBP

A terror plot at the turn of the century was thwarted by the professionalism of CBP Agent Diana Dean. You might not have heard of the foiled plot to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport amidst New Year’s celebrations for the year 2000. This Al Qaeda sponsored terrorist attack was prevented by an Agent who noted Ahmed Ressam’s suspicious behavior and sent him to a secondary inspection. We touch on pre-attack indicators, the radicalization process, and a defense strategy called “The Swiss Cheese Model.”

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War Stories and Wisdom from over 30 years in Special Operations

War Stories and Wisdom from over 30 years in Special Operations

Chief Master Sergeant Keaton shares some stories with us, including the time he won the Pitsenbarger Award after saving the lives of 5 women and children who were used as human shields by an enemy force in Afghanistan. Along the way he illustrates some lessons learned and leadership pointers that he picked up while leading some of America’s most elite operators throughout his 30 year career working in special operations as a PJ and reaching the highest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force. 

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Fog and Friction

Fog and Friction

Some of you might have experienced a crisis that was later described as a “Charlie Foxtrot,” which is an acronym for the sort of situation known for being chaotic, overwhelming, and difficult to manage. Mike and Jim discuss the doctrinal definitions of fog and friction and talk about some coping strategies and training philosophies that will help you deal with these kinds of problems.

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Dr. Daniel Blumberg on the Moral Risks of Policing

Dr. Daniel Blumberg on the Moral Risks of Policing

Dr. Daniel Blumberg is a licensed clinical psychologist and professor who has spent over 30 years working with several law enforcement agencies in the realm of pre-employment screenings and services related to police officer wellness, ethics, and resilience. His research has shined a light on many of the moral risks that affect those of us in law enforcement: what they are, how they are related to critical incident stress, and what the implications are for police leaders and trainers.

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Cecil Burch on BJJ and Street Fighting, when there are guns and knives and ninjas and sh*t

Cecil Burch on BJJ and Street Fighting, when there are guns and knives and ninjas and sh*t

How do the rules change when you go from sports to the street? What changes on the ground vs. standing up? How should you apply your nunchuck skills in the context of self-defense? Mike and Cecil talk about all things martial arts and how they fit in to street fighting in real life. He specializes in an interdisciplinary approach to entanglement and close-range fights where weapons – including your own – are in play.

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COLD WEATHER SURVIVAL WITH POLAR EXPLORER JOHN HUSTON

COLD WEATHER SURVIVAL WITH POLAR EXPLORER JOHN HUSTON

John Huston was one of the first Americans to successfully complete an unsupported expedition to the North Pole. His expertise in cold weather survival and expedition planning has led him to opportunities training Special Operations Forces and he uses his experience as public speaking and training curriculum related to high-performing teams, operational planning and risk management, leadership, teamwork, and more. As a bonus, John also works with Sled Dogs, which is just cool.

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THE NEWHALL MASSACRE: THE DAY 4 CHP OFFICERS WERE KILLED OVER 50 YEARS AGO

In April 1970,  4 California Highway Patrolmen were killed by two men after an armed road rage incident. Those men were career criminals in the planning stages of a robbery attempt who were heavily armed. This incident had a ripple effect for police agencies across the country that led to significant progress in the realm of firearms proficiency and officer safety.

FIGHT OR FLIGHT, FEAR, AND MUSCLE MEMORY WITH NEURO SCIENTIST DR. VIVIAN

While you don’t need to deep dive all of the science here, you do need to understand the tactical implications of a fight or flight response as it relates to training, perception, memory, and attention. Mike and Vivian discuss muscle memory, building good habits, perceptual distortions, and ways to enhance our performance under stress. 

PRINCIPLES OF WARFARE

Jim breaks down some fundamentals for how to turn Sun Tzu into operational reality with the handy acronym MOSSMOUSE. This is useful in any sort of fight or conflict in which you want to use tactics and strategy instead of just brute force or power to fight your way through it. How can you apply it to your situation? 

BIG NEWS FROM OFFICER ISAAC

We have been following our buddy Isaac’s career into law enforcement and it turns out, he’s got big news about where his career is headed. Hear what his plans are, what his favorite stories as a cop has been, and what advice he would give to someone new to the profession. 

It’s Your Platoon – US Army Lt. Dave

Jim interviews Lt Dave from the US Army about his experiences as a young officer and what it means to lead troops and face off the Russians in Eastern Europe. He talks about his relationship with senior NCOs, the differences between different commissioning sources, and how his job as a Combat Engineering Officer fits into the big picture for large scale combat operations.  

Fitness For Folks Who Don’t Fitness Good

This episode isn’t for hardcore fitness gurus, it’s for the people who realize they need to get up off the couch, watch what they eat, and take those first steps toward getting in shape. We wanted to address fitness from the beginning for those folks who don’t fitness good. These are the basic things you need to understand about losing weight and getting in shape. It starts with getting over the mental hurdles you put in your own way, and then setting manageable goals and expectations. Down the road, we’ll follow this up with more serious fitness talks but if you need a place to get started, start here.

“9-1-1, What’s your emergency?” Calling for Help: Dos and Don’ts

Mike explains how the 911 systems work in a way that is helpful to both first responders and those who need help. There are a lot of ways we lose information in the call taking process so make sure your emergency call renders the response you need. We also talk about when to call and ways to communicate covertly with a dispatcher.