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Tactical Topics: Analysis, Assessment, Mindset, and Decision-Making

In last month’s blog we covered the basics of Escape, Evasion, and Survival, this time is the extension of the brief as aforementioned—when the right time is to take action and undertake said escape, and the general analysis of the variable situation you are in. In a nutshell, when such a situation arises and becomes so dire/ drastic that these methods and measures need to be taken, it’s pretty safe to say that things are not going well. Not to be fatalistic or despair—on the contrary, this is the time to thrive and use all the skills you have been training and honing to best effect/ affect a positive outcome. Analysis and Assessment: Fairly straightforward in application, this is the process of weighing in on the overall situation and the ramifications thereof, inventorying and managing your equipment, assets, the people with you, and implementing the initial logistics tied into the actions that need to be taken. Every nuance of your compiled needs and tools should be carefully, constantly and repetitively utilized and measured— things to question in your constant assessments can be many things, including “What are your routes? What is plan B if plan A fails- and plan C after that? Who can you rely on for aid and have communication with that won’t compromise you and your efforts? Who has what specialized skills to contribute to succeed? What rations, caches, and implementations have been accounted for and established beforehand and for the long-term?” These are just some of the many facets, and the list can be quite long based on the situation and compiled capabilities. Continue to assess everything. Mindset: Correlating with the recent GFS podcasts/ talks on E&E and the Warrior Mindset, motivation and endurance are of the utmost importance. Circumstantial to the situation, there must always be the ideology, ethos, and doctrine that you can and will endure and overcome the situation—no matter how long it takes. You can never give in to the idea that an adversary will “go easy” on you or cater to your needs, they will have their own agenda; you can never look at a problem and think “this is impossible”or “I can’t do this” when there is almost always more than one way to fix/ resolve it; you have to keep yourself and your party motivated and focused on what needs to be done to be successful, and with that every little nuance and technical action to be taken to maintain said focus—something as simple as keeping track of how much water everyone is drinking, delegating tasks to keep them and you busy, and providing reassurance (value your life) can go a very long way. Mindset goes a long way. Decision-Making: There are many arduous and heavy choices that need to be made in a serious situation that necessitates drastic action, none should be taken lightly and they should always be constantly assessed to either maintain or adjust/ augment to garner success. Every little aspect will have choices and consequences, from what to take with you, to go left or right, to stay hidden or flag down that vehicle you’ve spotted, to when making a fire is appropriate, et cetera. This also applies to when the initial situation happens—do you need to engage and fight it out, or do you need to break contact and disappear into the bush? Decision-making will play a role in everything you and your party members do, and if you’re unsure, ask for suggestions and insight- or if you’re alone, you’ll have to make that executive decision, your life may depend on it. A wise man and former teacher of mine by the name of Ken Hammond used to always say, “Life is all about choices”—I take it to heart and it certainly applies to the everyday and lifestyle as much as in a serious or deadly situation. Life is all about choices. About the author: D.J. “The Metalhead Mercenary” is a US Army Infantry Veteran, former Executive Protection Specialist, GFS instructor and Tactical Liaison, and current Federal Security Contractor with over 20 years of combined experience, he still currently works in the industry.


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