Tactical Definitions & Ideas T – End

Tactics: “Tactics can be thought of as an art and science of winning confrontations (verbal, physical, and lethal) by the use of power (mental and physical), maneuver, the integration of different weapons (verbal skills, hand to hand, contact weapons and firearms), and the immediate exploitation of success to defeat your adversary.” William S. Lind, The Maneuver Warfare Handbook, parenthesis ours.

Tactics is the product of both art and science. See the beginning of this manual for a more in-depth discussion of what tactics is.

Target I.D.: The act of identifying, assessing, and prioritizing potential threats for engagement and/or elimination dependent on the threat that represents the greatest danger to you or other innocents at the moment, and then eliminating your adversaries accordingly.

The criteria for target I.D.ing will include many factors, but primarily distance, shock, what type of weapons the adversary possesses, and your adversaries current actions.

For instance, a man with a shotgun at 15-yards who is about to shoot you is probably a greater immediate threat than his partner who is now running at you with a knife from a distance of 10-yards.

Conversely, if a man with a shotgun was in the middle of a reload, and his partner were running towards you with a knife from 10-yards, you may want to consider dealing with a knife wielding individual first.

There are a number of simple tweaks that can be made in the above scenario, each of which could cause one to prioritize one target above another, again, there is no magic formula.Assessing and addressing real life threats is a matter of receiving sufficient RBT (Reality Based Training) scenarios that will allow you to make important and practical split-second decisions based on real life experiences and not just academic knowledge, theoretical ramblings, or shooting against a piece of paper.

Assessing and addressing real life threats is a matter of receiving sufficient RBT (Reality Based Training) scenarios that will allow you to make important and practical split-second decisions based on real life experiences and not just academic knowledge, theoretical ramblings, or shooting against a piece of paper.

This is important to understand that in a defensive lethal force encounter you will most likely not have either the time (fights for life happen quickly and are over with just as quickly), nor the mental faculties to recall your academic lectures or will you have the presence of mind (see the “SNS” response above) to sort through the variables to come to a logical and correct decision.

While no amount of academic knowledge will help you when you under the duress and time pressure of a lethal force confrontation, what can help is experiential training, such as quality RBT where you can better prepare for making split-second life and death decisions during, realistic, challenging, and stressful scenarios.

Task Triad: Is made up of three components; killing enabling, skill mastery, and stress inoculation, which are the foundational building blocks that must be solidly in place to give a fighter the greatest chances for a decisive victory during a lethal force encounter. The stronger and more balanced each of these three components are, the more you stack the odds in your favor.

It is important to note that while the three sides to the task triangle are unique, there are a myriad of connections that are both directly, and indirectly linked together. Whether they are implicitly or explicitly linked, they are all relevant to making a holistic and capable fighter. These concepts are what we call endosymbiotic; that is to say that they can not be separated without greatly weakening and potentially destroying the whole.

The first component, skill mastery, is something most shooters practice to varying degrees. Skill often relates to the physical attributes of speed, accuracy, and the ability to safely and appropriately manipulate your firearm so you can keep it up and run, using cover appropriately, etc.

The second component, stress inoculation, is where things start to degrade for most shooters. Stress focuses on both the internal and external factors organic to the fighter; this is where your confidence, sympathetic nervous systems response, techniques, new experiences, and proximity come together to give you a perceived level of danger. Often, this is where the average person’s ability to function both mentally and physically quickly and dramatically deteriorates the greater they are stressed by the experience.

The third component, killing enabling, is where the wheels fall off for the average person during a lethal force encounter, and in my opinion, this is the single most important factor that a person who wants to protect himself and his loved ones must absolutely possess. Without the ability to instantly and ruthlessly inflict violence on your adversary (the willingness to kill), all of your other skills, knowledge, and equipment become completely useless.

Unfortunately, one can not learn the latter two (stress inoculation and killing enabling) at a live fire range, as no amount of shooting inert paper, plastic, or steel targets will gain you the knowledge, skills, and abilities you will need to shore up the task triad. The only way to gain these invaluable assets is through a quality training program which includes reality based training or “RBT”.

Technique: A technique is a thing one can do by formula. This includes things like loading, malfunction clearances, reloads, the proper use of concealment and cover, slicing the pie, and so on.

Any good technique must be firmly engraved in the subconscious for instant access; that is to say, techniques need to be reflexive in order to be maximized. While excellence in technique is paramount in any conflict, excellent technique without intelligent decisions and actions will neither be timely nor effective. Additionally, excellent techniques without intellect, speed, and certainty of actions will cause your tactics to be formalistic, rigid, slow, predictable and easy to overcome by your adversary.

Threat Assessment: A process of assessing immediate or future threats to an individual, family, or team, and generally look at and prepare one for immediate, short, mid, and long-term threats.

Threat assessments force us to take a realistic look at our vulnerabilities and compare them against the potential for an adversary’s opportunity, capability and payoff factors, with the objective of identifying potential threats, discriminating between realistic and unrealistic scenarios, and reducing exposure to those behaviors that may invite an attack, eliminating immediate threats, or de-escalation nonlethal force threats.

Threat assessments take on many forms and cover numerous situations and time frames:

Immediate threat assessments usually revolve around the here and now, focusing on cover/concealment, approach routes, pieing corners, target discrimination, target identification, target selection, target elimination, and/or de-escalation of potential threats.

Short-term threat assessments consider any impromptu events and take into account factors such as travel time, routes (to and from the venue), exposure, environment (personnel and physical), as well as any venue considerations (such as lighting, parking, exits, etc.).

Mid and long-term threat assessments may add to the above factors such elements as personal, business, and family routines; medical considerations (medications, etc.); available ingress, egress, and alternate routes (both to and from venues, as well as the venues themselves); actions (well as rehearsal of) on contact, and a plan to shore up and mitigate any unnecessary exposure while maximizing safer alternatives and lifestyles.


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