GET OFF THE X!
Our feelings on what resilience means in a tactical setting and how to make sure you are not an easy victim. Includes some thoughts on “resilience training” and where mental toughness comes from.
Jim walks us through a series of rape scandals at the Air Force Academy, and discusses practical ways to prevent and respond to assaults.
First, a toast: This episode is dedicated to Airman First Class Kenneth “K3” Sturgill, an Air Force SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) Specialist Trainee who perished in training as a result of heat stroke. K3’s father, K2, shares some stories about his childhood and the man he was. We learn about the mishap and what steps the Air Force is taking to prevent this sort of thing in the future. To wrap up, Mike and Jim talk a little about heat stress and how to mitigate heat related injuries.
Ambush is a term that we tend to overuse to mean any attack that catches us off guard. We are going to define the term ambush and, more importantly, define the counter-tactics to apply if you are ambushed. The important thing to realize is that the sooner you identify an imminent or in-progress ambush, the sooner you are able to effectively respond to it. So we have to make sure we aren’t getting too wrapped in the semantics here, it only matters if your counter-tactics apply. We’re going to look at a handful of civilian case studies and discuss what those ambush tactics and counter-tactics look like so you might be able to pick up on them if they are ever happening to you. Special thanks to John at Active Self Protection (www.youtube.com/ActiveSelfProtection) for helping us out with some examples—be sure to check out his videos and commentary in the links below!
Links to Active Self Protection, thanks John!
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Intro music credit: Bensound.com
Additional episode details
Opening story of a civilian Ambush out of Fredericksburg VA, and some of the characteristics of an Ambush (physical entrapment or isolation, bad guy has surprise/initiative and is often concealed, and usually the attack begins with overwhelming force).
Jim’s going to cover the Army’s definition of an Ambush–which in general is a sudden/surprise attack from a position of concealment on a mobile target. There are hasty and planned amushes, L-shaped and linear ambushes, near and far, etc.
In general, your options priority follow this checklist: Immediately return fire, occupy cover, move out of the kill zone, find/fire/manuever on the enemy to destroy them. In simpler terms: Get off the X, attack through a near ambush, break contact, get help from outside.
Ambush tends to be a term that people overuse. Many police officer line of duty deaths are characterized as ambushes and we might be applying that definition a little broadly. We think the term best fits if you can apply those counter tactics we listed above.
We’re going to cover several civilian case studies and talk about some of the characteristics of ambushes and how you might respond to them. Special thanks to John at Active Self Protection (www.youtube.com/ActiveSelfProtection) for helping us out with some examples—you can see links to the videos he sent and his commentary in the show notes.
The first is a robbery. The clerk is stuck behind the corner and two guys walk in to rob her. Think about how you might apply that to counter-tactics—she’s stuck behind the counter and between two dudes. Giving up might be an appropriate tactic if its something like a robbery and it’s just your stuff—or your employer’s stuff. But you have to be prepared to go a different direction if it’s something less predictable.
Jim gives his classic “Wal-Mart” example, you’re walking through the parking lot and some dude pushes you between two cars, and his buddy comes in from the other side. Don’t be on the X in the first place if you can avoid it.
We also discuss the idea of channeling and funneling. Jim and Mike both have examples from international travel that ended up being nothing, but they were good opportunities to remind ourselves what it could look like.
The next one from John at ASP is a carjacking. One of the things that happens here is the bad guys make a lame attempt to block the victim in by pulling their car in front of them and turning slightly. The reality here is that he could have hit the gas and got passed him—but we have to mentally prepare ourselves for things like that. Alternatively, maybe getting out of the car and bailing is a better choice in terms of mobility and readiness—just depends on the situation.
We also look at one where some dude does a 68-point turn to get into a position of advantage in a parking lot, and once he does, he jumps out grabs a lady’s purse and takes off. That sort of initiative makes a big difference—and we have to stay curious to catch that sort of thing. Situational awareness is a concept that we pay a lot of lip service to, actually practicing it is tough. In contrast, there’s a video in South Africa that shows a guy getting out of his car and, as soon as some dudes jump out of a car with a bunch of guns, the guy moves around the front of his car (Get off the X), draws and returns fire. Good stuff.
Jim has a funny story about a time he was wearing a shirt that said “FBI” on it, but he was only armed with a couple bags of ammo. Worked out, but it was good lesson learned.
The last example is an elderly lady who was getting back from Bingo late at night and gets confronted in her carport. She apparently had a knife already in hand and responded with immediate and overwhelming force, which sent the guy running. She’s our hero.
We also talk a little bit about equipment. How much good is that “truck gun” going to do you if you are running around in flip flops? We also have to talk about how you’re carrying your firearm if you carry regularly—it needs to be somewhere you can get to in a hurry. That means not in a purse, and not on your ankle. Also consider things like fixed blade knives and medical supplies.