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  1. #1

    Default Simple Reminder: Life Isn't a Game

    ChrisNobody and I spoke last night and we decided we'd each write a post and see how it went. I read his on the simplicity of his rifle choice for general purpose use: the Colt AR15A4. The idea of simple, or simplicity, is often ignored and I think there can be some value in going back to basics at times and our asking ourselves, "What do I have here? and "What will it do for me?" Recently back from an imposed vacation at work I had the opportunity to work with a lot of new guys on the street as a fill-in Watch Commander. Working dayshift is considerably different from night shift and, at least for us, the night shift are all veterans out there wanting to hunt. Working a dayshift recently I noted several things with the brand new baby deputies and what I saw strikes me along the same line as what ChrisNobody discussed - simplicity or simple(ness). In my case, I'll attribute the simplicity or simple(ness) to life and mission - be that as a law enforcement officer or non-LEO citizen.

    Recently back in Patrol I saw a few things that I'd like to bring up; excuse my lack of eloquence, but here they are:

    1. The baby LEO with so much stuff on his belt he can't go prone to fight or manage his ammunition re-supply.
    2. The baby LEO positioning his Taser in front of his ammunition resupply.
    3. The baby LEO with his body worn camera so high he can't effectively shoulder his rifle or shotgun.
    4. The baby LEO not carrying a knife.
    5. The baby LEO not carrying a backup weapon of any kind.
    6. The baby LEO more interested in having fun with the citizen [be that victim, witness, investigative lead or suspect] than in maintaining officer safety and command presence.
    7. The baby LEO unable to communicate with different sorts of people that occupy his beat area.
    8. The baby LEO that can't write a report or articulate his actions to his first line supervisor.


    I won't go into each point on this list, but I think at Warriors we need to remember life is simple - the threat is simple - how we prepare ourselves, manage ourselves, and engage others within our life and surroundings is just that: simple. For the LEO and non-LEO alike, may I humbly ask of you the following:

    1. Can you please arrange your equipment, your personal physique, and your mind so that you are able to fight? The fight is real and we need to remember, as Gabe once said, any contact is a gunfight until proven otherwise.
    2. Can you please remember that non-lethal equipment is not of greater priority than lethal equipment? We must be lethal at heart and in mind and purpose, and if non-lethal is effective than that's a bonus - but just a bonus. Make your lethality sure and simple.
    3. Can you please carry a backup weapon? Primary weapons fail and we need choices. Please note the backup weapon asserts the concept of having a second option readily available. This concept pertains to your mind as well. Equipment aside, please ensure you have "mental backups" to the situations you find yourself in. I find this can be hanging out with good people who think like you and they themselves are a backup to the mission.
    4. Can you please learn to articulate your actions and mindset? If one can't articulate one's actions and mindset I fear that pirate ship will be dry docked. Event in the non-LEO world, one's ability to articulate and explain is critical to being the Gentleman Warrior.


    So there it is... a gentle reminder that life and choices are relatively simple. Along with ChrisNobody, I choose at times to look for the simplicity in equipment, life, action and interaction. In line with this, please remember the simple(ness) in these statements:

    1. The threat is real.
    2. There are those out there desirous of killing you and those for whom you care simply because of who you are.
    3. Don't overcomplicate your mind, your response, and your mission.
    4. Be ready - Be sure - Be equipped, but do not be of such a complex nature you forget the mission and get wrapped up in items of inconsequence


    Gentlemen, life is simple. Gentlemen, the threats in life are real. And Gentlemen, remember the basics. Life isn't a game.

    For what it is worth.

    J
    Last edited by JonathanNobody; 10-08-2019 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
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    Excellent...and welcome back. I will add - Life is not a Sport either. Life, in our context, is a brutal, bloody, matter where you kill and win, or die. Everything you carry should be intended to help you kill well, and anything else you carry to keep you from being killed. At the end of the day, when all the songs have been sung, the flags waved, and the talking-head speeches have been made, it boils down to that and that alone.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  3. #3
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    I used to run into a lot of these same things within the military. Pouches attached to pouches, every row of molle filled, strapping on so many magazines on their kit they can't even prone out, filling all the rail space, and equipment in all the wrong places. Guys would even elect to not check out their pistols in favor of more rifle ammo, carry huge over sized packs, and make bad footwear choices.

    Experience in a couple of gun fights and/or long foot movements and all that equipment started falling off, kit become simple, efficient, durable, and secure. Packs became day packs or QD packs on the back of their armor.

    I've found that at the lesser the experience level, the more the good idea fairy spreads her chaos into the decision making process.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
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  4. #4
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    Johnathon,

    I am not a LEO, but former military and I also agreed with Greg's observations as well.

    In your temporary position as a dayshift commander were you able to pass on your vast experience and knowledge to the "baby LEO's" and how was it received?

    Obviously, We have all heard this and it seems it is true again here, "You don't know what you don't know." and with that this information is some things that they could use to save their life in future situations.
    I kneel for no man and pray to only one God; Jesus Christ.

    تدريب لتكون في نهاية المطاف الأمريكي الكافر

    CRG 09/2012, TMCO 11/2012, RGF I 09/2013, ACRG 11/2013

  5. #5
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    I think we often must go through a journey of complexity in order to reach simplicity.

    of course it is better to learn and build off the wisdom of others. But I think most people need to learn this lesson for themselves. Some lessons are harder, and more painful, than others.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

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  6. #6
    TACC,

    I don't know about vast experience; it seems as the years go by I realize how much I don't know.

    We wear external MOLLE body armor, so when I go on a scene I make sure my collars and rank device are tucked below the carrier. I don't have stripes on my shoulder so that also helps with the young guys. With the baby LEOs I try and ensure their training officers and sergeants are actively and overtly involved in every aspect of their life, and I try and do the same by leading as an example. I can tell you it does not always work.

    The reason behind this post is I've found the baby LEOs, even after a few months on the road, get complacent and genuinely forget they're there to solve problems with action - that action may not always be violent but it can and often does involve violence. I think the complacency also is accompanied by a complex operating environment never before placed on the LEO. They have to worry about themselves, the public, what the agency will do to them over a complaint, and all manner of oversight. I believe they get wrapped up in the minute details and forget the large and overwhelming aspect of the job in that they have to be ready to fight, to fight, and to kill if necessary.

    The complex details of law enforcement won't go away, and there are so many thing they have to do now that I didn't when I started, or when others here started. What I'm advocating is they must nor forget the simple aspects discussed in the main post and they must not overcomplicate things.

    I know the answer to the question, but I'll ask it anyways: "What does society want? Warriors who happen to engage in police service as necessary, or public servants who engage in being a warrior as necessary?" You can't have both, so I encourage and advocate the return to the simple: warriors who engage in police service as necessary.

    We have to carry this over to our lives as non-LEOs as well. Are we warriors who happen to be mothers, fathers, etc., or are we mothers, fathers, etc., who become warriors when necessary? I would advocate SI training and mindset sets us up for the first one.

    I had a Phase 1 OIT tell me when I asked him if he could reload his pistol from a magazine pouch buried behind his taser that he would never need to reload as he had a taser and wouldn't need to fight... and if he had to fight he would not need to reload. I had him remove his belt kit and re-assemble the gear. He was ticked off but I asked him to look at his brand new shiny badge on his chest. He did and I asked him to describe it. He said it was bright, shiny, no scratches and in perfect shape for inspection. I asked him to look at mine and that of his sergeant. He did. I asked him to describe them and he said they were scratched, bent and he could see the JB-Weld that held on this sergeant's rocker. I asked him why this was. He replied he didn't know. When he said this I told him I knew his sergeant well and we'd been in fights together. Those scratches came from the sides of vehicles, being on the ground, and we had something he didn't - experience.

    I think he caught on as the second OIT began to re-assemble his kit, but I think the point for us all is we have to decide who we are, what is important, and then build around that without losing sight of what is important and centric to the mission - we have to keep things simple. I remember going to my first really big street problem and as my FTO and I walked up he said, "We're going to see if he gives up. If he doesn't give up we will have to kill him."

    We kept things simple.

  7. #7
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    I feel badly for the coming generations of military, LEO, EMT, firefighters, etc. Being a warrior or just a guy who wants to do good, that's slowly becoming something that's no longer envied but rather eschewed and held in disdain by the younger folk. Well, not all, but too many for my liking.

    Remember that incident a while back in the UK where the police chief locked himself in his car while his fellow officer was stabbed to death? I will not be surprised when that happens in this country, sad to say.

    I recently read an article about the state of the military veteran in Germany. It's bad in Deutschland. Really bad. There's less than respect for the military and the veteran has little to be proud of, according to his fellow citizens. I only mention Germany's situation because that's where we're headed here in the states, especially in law enforcement: police recruiting is tanking, thanks to the current trends in disrespecting, neutering and emasculating a once proud profession. Sure, there are problems, but "solutions" have become topical trophies bandied about between activists and politicians with their own agendas and self-interests at heart. Everyone wants to be safe but nobody wants to do the job; they just want to criticize those who try to do it.

    I just now realized what I wrote: "Nobody wants to do the job." Nobody ... as in a couple of guys we all know and respect. Imagine that.

    I digress ....

    Anyway, I'm reminded of these words from Henry V by that famous English guy:

    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say "To-morrow is Saint Crispian."
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day.

    When I was a kid -- "Back in my day, blah-blah-blah ..." -- we envied those with scars and stories to tell because they were men -- and, yes, sometimes women -- of action. They saw stuff, they did stuff, mostly stuff nobody else wanted to do. But most important -- to me, anyway -- they actually lived their lives and had helped others live theirs. That's what I wanted and for the most part of my adult life I got to participate.

    Now that I'm retired ... it pains me to see kids -- anybody under forty is kid to me -- who have no purpose other than to see who has the most envied social media life or the most (self-inflicted) drama. They look smug and superior when the topic of service comes into play, mistaking it for seeking glory; they don't understand what it means to really live ... and to be ... and to do ... something ... something worthwhile with theirselves, their minds, their spirit ... with their lives.

    In my old age I'm getting more and more emotional and sentimental. I get frustrated with pacifists and liberals or anyone else who want Big Brother or the Nanny State to keep us "safe"; I shake my head when someone tells me "It's not my job ...." to fend for themselves, or worse, to teach their children to not fend for themselves. The latter, to me, is a crime.

    On the other hand I can't help but smile when I bump into someone who's been there, done that in the service of our nation and in the service of others; I don't care what color uniform they wore, military or civilian, where they served or what they did, it's like meeting an old friend or long-lost brother or sister you dearly missed. Sometimes we swap war stories ("No shit, there I was ...") or just bask in the glow of mutual respect. It's times like that when I regain the optimism I had as a young boy.

    So thank you, JonathanNobody, and Chris and all the others for carrying the torch and trying to pass along the fire. In a culture rife with narcissism and self-absorption, you guys are the exception; you give the rest of us hope. Maybe when that young troop gets a few scratches and dings on his badge he'll see the light. Or maybe at least open his eyes a bit.

    We can only hope.
    Last edited by Redneck Zen; 10-08-2019 at 09:50 PM.
    Redneck Zen
    "Be careful what you get good at."

  8. #8
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    The new "guardians" (not warriors) seem to not give a shit about anything...and eventually...many of us will stop giving a shit about them.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    The new "guardians" (not warriors) seem to not give a shit about anything...and eventually...many of us will stop giving a shit about them.
    Most of the new guys that pass through our set do seem to care. But as J points out, the burdens on them are daunting:

    I think the complacency also is accompanied by a complex operating environment never before placed on the LEO. They have to worry about themselves, the public, what the agency will do to them over a complaint, and all manner of oversight. I believe they get wrapped up in the minute details and forget the large and overwhelming aspect of the job in that they have to be ready to fight, to fight, and to kill if necessary.

    And we're not even considering report writing, commo and information systems that fail chronically and at critical moments.

    I see them trying to make sense of where and how to fit in, wanting to do a good job. Until society makes the choice that J writes of, they're caught between two fires.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "Can I move?...I'm better when I move."

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  10. #10
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    Papa...I think it goes beyond that. It has to do with a self-image thing and a marked lack of humility and ability to accept that they are not perfect and that there are older more experienced men they should listen to. Not all of them...but enough that it is a noticeable characteristic of a generation.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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