T Nation

The Tactical Life


This really resonated with me. Thank you.

Try to be the hero of your own life. When things get difficult, try to be a strength and a blessing to people around you. Try to handle your challenges with courage and grace.


Very well said, PP. I know this sounds really naive, but, I firmly believe if more men and women stepped up and became the “heroes” their families need, then maybe there would be one be less kid walking into schools and killing their classmates.


Strange dream last night and I believe there’s a takeaway worth sharing that is perfect for this thread. Not sure what triggered this; I’m 31 and haven’t lived at home in over a decade but in the dream I woke up in my childhood bedroom, back in NY, in the middle of the night. Something had woken me up - some kind of noise or movement and I got up and looked down the hall way, adjusting to the dark and then ventured out into the house to investigate.

In the first room I entered (guest room adjacent to my bedroom) there was a door to the outside that was open, but the door doesn’t exist in real life and I think my brain picked up that it didn’t belong and so dream me closed it and moved on. But as I got into the main living area again there was a door open to the outside - this time the front door of my house - and my brain reacted as if there was a threat. I carefully approached, stuck my head outside and looked all around but I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. From within the house I heard a sound that seemed to be coming from the second story, where the master bedroom is. I re-entered the house and took the stairs up to my parents bedroom.

It was darker than the rest of the house and my eyes hadn’t adjusted so I called out “hello” loudly twice. As my eyes adjusted and the room came into focus I didn’t actually see anything in my dream that was terrifying. I could just see the shapes of my parents in bed; they could just as easily have been sleeping but some combination of the fact that the door to the house was wide open and they hadn’t heard my climbing the steps or calling out in the dark clued me in and all at once two thoughts came crushing over me.

The first was “f*ck, I don’t have my gun”. In my own house, I’m not completely paranoid to the point that I grab my shield from my nightstand every time a local dog barks or a car door slams, but on occasions where a noise has been a little too close or a little too unidentifiable, I will immediately grab the gun and do a quick scan of the house. In the dream, waking up in my (very anti gun) father’s house I didn’t even think to grab for a gun.

The second thought was even more terrifying and it was “you dummy… you just rushed head long into a dark room with no means of defending yourself without checking your corners, the small room across the hallway or anything at all and then called out in the dark and announced your location… you are in DANGER.”

And as soon as that thought hit my eyes snapped open and I was in my own bed beside my wife in Texas. There was something really disconcerting about the dream. I didn’t actually see whether my parents were injured and no threat ever presented itself. I just had this crushing sense that I had put myself in a very dangerous position. The security of the house that I grew up in just sort of overwrote my usual caution and I was lulled into acting like a kid with no regard for my security or surroundings. I think the message was not to let familiarity breed carelessness. Also, upon waking up it dawned on me that I’d been to the range the day before and that the handgun that I usually have in my nightstand was still in my office down the hall where I’d cleaned my guns after shooting. Empty mag, useless. Obviously it’s fully loaded, one in the chamber, back in my nightstand where it belongs now.


Good point. Always trust your instincts. That primal part of the brain is always working, it is ignoring those signals that gets a person killed.

I have seen this play out so many times. Get back to the “green zone” or “behind the wire” and the guard comes down. What ? just because you drove through some T-walls nothing can happen? You are suddenly out of a hot area, maybe in some neutral country, and nothing can happen?

Damn, it that is not true. I have seen everything from AD’s to dropping a pallet of ammo on some hapless kid. Even the most highly trained fuck up this way.

Lol. I have done that once. once. never again.

I have written before in this thread, that you should know your own castle from a tactical viewpoint. especially in the dark. learn your battle space, regardless of where you are.

Good Post, thanks for sharing.


Thought for the day: “Conditioning”

I came across this comment on conditioning the other day and for some reason, I was reminded of a thread several years ago, where the conversation was around “what is a good fighter, or what makes a good fighter, or something like that. During that conversation, a fellow Combat poster, “BagofBro” stated a fighter need three things:

Skill, Conditioning, and Strength. (I still follow this simple plan today)

Nobody had any problems with the skill part, just train with qualified people, no one had any real issues with the strength part, the major one being 5-3-1, 5x5, and anything by CT, etc. It was the “conditioning” part that was so easy, but so hard to explain. Is conditioning achieved by running 5 miles daily? Swimming a mile for time? Working the heavy bag? Cross country cycling? Complexes? Body weight drills? CrossFit? Martial arts?

Thou the author has directed his comments toward SF, I believe it applies to us all.

Here is my definition of conditioning:

Be physically “conditioned” enough to be able to do the job and complete the job for as long as it takes. Whether you are dropped off four miles from your objective, hauling ass across the desert, hit your objective and haul ass back to the LZ, firefighters running up ten flights of stairs to save a child, SWAT staged for hours on the “ready” as negotiators try to talk some asshole out, the Las Vegas emergency room nurse who pulled 26 straight hours in surgery to save the shooting victims, the patrolman, EMT, who have to pull 14 hour shifts to cover for their brothers during Christmas, or the single mother working two jobs to feed her child. As discussed above: if you decide to be the “hero” of your family, the “sheepdog ” to try and protect them for whatever life throws their way, the you have given up the right to be unfit.

“Conditioning” is an overused term in the fitness world, for most of us, it’s stepping up and doing the job.

From Warfighter Athletic:


Athletic Conditioning is key. Both in the physical and mental sense. If you have ever watched the CrossFit opens right through to the games. Ever wonder how guys do so well in the opens then fade in the games?

The opens workouts are all conducted while well rested and in the comfort of their gym. The games adds in a new environment, 100,000s of people watching and it spans multiple days. Your real conditioning is exposed pretty quick.

Special forces selection is similar. You will be broken down fairly quickly to see how you perform once fatigued, both physically and mentally. It’s one thing to be able to perform when all the conditions are aligned but how do you perform outside of those conditions?
Train hard, train smart, and always remember to push your limits to harden your mental resilience


Thought for the day (2). Canadian firefighters

Any of the Northern brothers going to complete? Damn, this looks like a real, real bitch:))


Thought for the day: What are you using down range?


Note: I receive absolutely no financial gain from posting this target and I am not connected to Mike Pannone or CTT Solutions.

I saw this yesterday and really like the way it is designed. Way too often shooters get caught up on training on steel, yes, its fun, has instant gratification and makes you look like a badass on IG. But, steel is for training speed, not accuracy. Paper never lies and you would be wise to limit your steel time to fun shoots. Here is what Mike has to say about the target:

This target design is the culmination of 25 years of training at a professional level both in Army Special Operations and as a civilian instructor. The target incorporates dimensions and scoring areas that will be easily understood and usable by both military and law enforcement as well as sport and recreational shooters.

The foundation is the use of “Hit Factor” or points/time in sport shooting. That ratio can be looked at in two ways: points per second for sport or the speed at which energy is effectively applied to a threat. The targets will be printed on paper that is the same color as masking tape available at any local store making it easy to source with less expensive readily available masking tape, this ensures that This ensures that target accountability via consistent taping is easy and inexpensive.

The center square is 4”x4” and is contained within a 6”x11” rectangle resembling the A-zone of a USPSA target. The next scoring area also resembles the area of the C-zone of a USPSA target. These comparable dimensions were chosen in order for shooters to use national-level data on speed and accuracy as a reference. The 5-zone in the head is designed to give a surgical shot that is reasonable but will still replicate an effective engagement area for a threat incident.

It is also very comparable to sport shooting areas in comparable the location. The neck line differentiates between an effective head area engagement and less effective and usually not planned neck area hit.

The paper is printed on paper to match standard masking tape for ease and cost effective repairs. Paper Target is sized on 20" x 32" paper.


A new wrinkle in this whole sad, disgusting mess. I’m sure many are already aware. I generally am of the opinion that the folks in the ground should be making these decisions, but there it is.


In todays episode of what the fuck:

Hopefully he makes a full recovery.


Thought for the day (1): Another brother killed. Served in Afghanistan, goes back from this shithole and resumes his duties as a police officer in tiny Clinton, Missouri. Now, shot to death. What does it say about my country, when a war zone is safer than the streets of America? This is the second officer killed in Clinton in the past 9 months.

To all LEO’s, it doesn’t matter now where you are or who you work for, from some small town in rural America with a 10 man force to a 30 thousand man force in NYC, all of you have a target on your chest. Stating simple things like" be safe, stay sharp" is just fucking silly any more.



Thought for the day (2): Are you fucking for real?

“Effective immediately you have been suspended from the SWAT Team until further notice,” wrote Capt. Kevin Nosowicz, the unit’s commander, in a Feb. 22 memo obtained by the Miami Herald through a public records request. “Please make arrangements with the training department to turn in your SWAT-issued rifle.”

"The human urge to aid in a disaster is strong. But it can also run counter to police training. Too much response to a mass casualty situation can create confusion and hinder responders, as recent mass shootings have shown, according to Pat Franklin, a retired Miami Beach police detective. ( pure fucking bullshit, what fucking rock did you crawl out from? “hinders first responders” Really, you dickhead, who trained you? The American society of passive warriors?. Fuck the rules and regulations, kids are dying, you have two SWAT warriors who responded to help and they are being suspended? For what? not following some PC protocol in your wimp ass agency? Brothers, its time to move on, your department is shit).


This is what America has come to: the men who ran in to help save kids’ lives get suspended for doing the right thing, while the cops who didn’t even enter the school based on “protocol” are defended by media outlets such as USA Today.

What the fuck is going on here? Did his children die at the hands of a mass murderer that could have been stopped much sooner than he was?


Saturday Morning Coffee Break:




Coffee Break:



Coffee Break: Glacier National Park



Coffee Break: The lady in red



Coffee Break: For those interested:



Though for the day (1): Another brother dead. All my respect.




Thought for the day (2). Rollcall for the slain:


It is becoming increasingly clear that American society no longer cares whether a cop is killed or not, in fact, it seems over the last 5 years that killing cops is a excepted way of behavior. No longer is killing a cop “crossing the line”, it just the norm now. For all LEO’s, every call from a domestic to a loud noise should be viewed as a potential lethal threat. From rookies to veterans, this era is more dangerous than any in my experience. As I have written before, it is more dangerous working the streets of America than working in Kabul.

Brothers / Sisters: train every way you can, train every level of your skills. Don’t fall into complacency. As silly as memes and sayings are, some strike home. “you can never train hard enough for a job that can kill you”



Thought for the day (3): The sergeant quoted in this article is a better man than me. My reaction: suck shit and die.

Calif. coffee shop refuses to serve officers

The sergeant who was turned away said he was surprised by the policy and is looking forward to speaking with the shop owners and build a relationship with them and the rest of the community.