T Nation

The Tactical Life


Well duh, that makes sense! You can tell I’ve been in Maine too long when I forget that not everyone lives in a place where you can carry a concealed snub-nose without a permit on your way to the weed store before heading over to your buddy’s house to light off some explosive mortars you got at the firework store and then empty a few magazines with a fully-automatic rifle.



Sounds like a decent night out.


One point you need to consider in your assessment: I believe you stated you were in a rural area of Wyoming. In the States, I also live in a very rural area. If something breaks bad, the response time from the local sheriff’s office would probably be 20 to 30 minutes on a good day. What would be your locals response time? Even basic knowledge of shooting, tactics and having a pre-plan for the worst can help you survive. And unfortunately, if you do survive then you will have to deal with the emotional and worst still, probably the criminal and civil justice system.

Having a CC is just like having heath and car insurance, something that you may need in case of the shit that happens. Take any measure to protect yourself and your family. I will leave you with a quote that I really believe in:

"Be dedicated, be smart, be trained, be vigilant and be armed. Sometimes the police can’t get there in time. Good men and women should be ready to step into the breach rather than let evil deeds be done".


Absolutely something that I’ve considered, which has had me leaning towards the CC, ultimately I plan on being self sufficient, am currently an EMT, pull the trigger on becoming truly proficient with my sidearm of choice, and begin understanding planning and tactics.


Those are worthy goals , brother. You have all my respect for being an EMT. EMT’s , Paramedics, SF, Navy medics, Fireman. You have it worse, like a field goal kicker, no one wants to see you unless they need you, then they really need you to be perfect. It’s easy to kill, hard to save.


**__Thought for the day:** Over the last four years, there has been a push in recruiting women for combat roles. A few instructors I happen to interact with have either been professional about the issue or more commonly, apoplectic about the process. Me? I could care less as long as the job gets done. Women have proven themselves in law enforcement for years. Funny thing about lethal force situations, if coming under fire, I have never worried whether the person who was beside me shooting was either: a woman, gay, straight, black , brown or white, Christian or Muslim. Strange how that never enters my mind.

Anyway, I got sent this a couple of days ago for my opinion ( like that counts for anything). I am not a personal trainer, I have experience in training people to pass assessments, but that’s it, CT, I am not. Anyway, my training philosophy is train for the mission, not the mirror.

This is a proposed program for future women SF candidates. Basically, I find the test to be generally negative. Someone is setting people up to fail, just my opinion. One of the most professional, tactically brilliant and absolutely lethal CQB operators I have ever had the pleasure of being with, cannot run 1.5 miles in 9 minutes.

You people are experts, what say you?

Back squat: 1.5 times your body weight

Deadlift: 2 times your body weight

Front squat: 1.25 times your body weight ,Overhead squat: Bodyweight

Bench press: Bodyweight

Power clean: Bodyweight

Turkish getup: half your bodyweight

60-second fan bike: 40 calories

500-meter Row: ‪1:45

500-meter SkiErg: ‪1:45

1,000-meter Row: ‪3:50

1,000-meter SkiErg: ‪3:50

2,000-meter row: ‪8:00

2,000-meter ski: ‪8:00

5,000-meter row: ‪22:30

5,000-meter ski: ‪22:30

1.5-mile Run: ‪9:00

60-minute row: 12,500 meters

60-minute ski: 12,500 meters

10K run: 50 minutes


I think that’s a pretty accurate assessment of these standards. The overhead squat in particular is mind boggling.


Seems pretty arbitrary to me. Looks like someone just picked a bunch of “good” numbers and threw them together and called it a test. It makes no sense. I have met maybe one female and a handful of males who would have any kind of a shot at this.


I know nothing of Maine, but in this post and others, you certainly do paint a nice picture of your state.


It is a fine place to live if you can deal with the possibility of snow on the ground for nearly half of the year.

Taxes too, we have a lot of those. Not as bad as some, however.


I know a fair number of active duty SEALS who could not pass this test. Especially given that a lot of those numbers are more skill based than fitness based. How many guys do you know who train their overhead squat?

Also, I am generally not a fan of strength standards based on bodyweight. Guy weighs 140, he has to back squat 210. Different fella weighs 200, has to squat 300. 200lb guy gets hurt and needs to be carried out, can the 140lb guy do the job? What about if we add the weight of his kit?


I agree with you, frankly, I cannot pass that test either, especially the overhead squat. After taking a small amount of shrapnel in my left knee three years ago, I changed my training and squats are out. Actually “numbers” mean nothing to me, since my training methods are based around being fit to fight and training for the mission. I have a base of exercises that are served me well over the last decade and I stick to that. I don’t have the luxury of being injured in the gym.

I did an informal survey yesterday of about 15 agents, SF, and LEO’s, both male and female. Since this is a rare group of mature, serious individuals who rely on their physical fitness to perform the job, the most common response was" Hell no, I cannot do that, who came up with that stupid shit? lol


Thought for the day: More on the subject, a view on standards from a retired Gunny.

If anyone would like to try it, my simple test goes like this:

After a standard warm up, the first event should be a 1 mile run for time. The easiest way is to just a ½ mile down and back on a flat, off road surface.

The next three events can (and should) be run in random order. With large groups, you can break into smaller groups and preform the different events at once to save time. Events should go from one to the other without any excessive rest time in between.

1) A combination pull-up with leg raise. I think that doing the combination of these too movements together is much more realistic than just doing pull-ups. In a real situation you pull your body weight up, to get you up and over something, not to do strict exercise reps. Do a dead hang pull-up, come down, then raise your legs (bent knees) up to your chest, then legs down for one rep. Continue till failure. The leg raise also prevents excessive swinging when doing the pull-up. This tests your abs, grip and pulling power all at once in a real-life way. Goal: 15 or more.

2) Body drag and fireman’s carry with a person of near equal weight. 25 yards drag the person down, then fireman’s carry them back for time. The benefit of including this in a test this is pretty obvious. Goal: Under 2 minutes.

3) Sandbag lift (40lbs). From the ground to overhead for 1 rep, (no just dropping on the return downward), 2 minutes for max reps. I never liked the ammo can press Marines do in the CFT. The can is too light (30lbs) and in real life objects are picked up off the ground, you don’t start at your shoulders. Sandbags are cheap and easily obtained. This is both a test of aerobic capability and muscular endurance with a weight and movement that is common in many combat tasks. Goal: 40 or more

Finish with another 1 mile run, with your final run time for score, being the average time of both runs. Now this may seem weird, but IMO this is the best way to test actual readiness, as in real life situations there are no structured physical tasking A-Z. You may be tasked to do different things, that require different types of fitness completely randomly. Running a mile first to “pre-fatigue” and at the end after preforming the other events, tests your overall endurance and toughness. Goal: A two run average under 7 minutes.

The goals I laid out for each event aren’t scientific, that would take some trial and error to come up with a max and passing score range. They are numbers that I know from my own experience, if you were to meet or exceed, will indicate a very good level of useful physical readiness. However, I don’t think that there should be any grading scale for age or gender. Of course, there will (and should be) a big variance in what an outstanding (max) score and just passing will be. This encourages effort and competition, which is a good thing. This test is easy to do logistically and will accurately measures the basic type of physical readiness that military and 1st Responders need. As this is a basic test for all hands, specialized combat units should do full geared-up forced marches and “O” courses to help measure their people’s readiness. The same goes for MOS’s that have a swim requirement. That is something that is not feasible for non-combat units, it’s not practical, or frankly needed. Those are specific needs, for specific occupations that need specific tests.

I don’t have all the answers on this, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert beyond what I have learned from my own practice experience and observation. In the end this debate will continue, but I am at least glad to see the services are trying to improve real life readiness and try to cut down on injuries. But I will close by reminding everyone something I told many an officer in my day; Something doesn’t have to be complicated, or high tech to be effective. In the end when we have many options to solve a problem, it’s always best to go with the simplest answer that gets the job done.


Ridiculous. Looks like someone googled “fitness test” and combined the results without analyzing the results. There are multiple modes to test the same basic qualities: Row/ski/bike/run at multiple distances each and 3 different squat variations. Hell I’ve never been on a ergski and my top shelf commercial gym doesn’t even have one. My dept’s gym sure doesn’t either.

From an operational assessment perspective; o-course, dummy drag/carry, weighted sled push/pull, and distance ruck (ok throw in a 3-5 mile run too) maybe a good base assessment. In the LE world (SWAT/SRT), drop a ruck and use a run.


Motivational Monday: From “Noner”

These three principle of life have always proven true for me. You’ve got to understand that we will never know what we need to know when we need to known it. We will succeed and fail but we must always learn and strive to be a better version of ourselves each new day. The sun will rise tomorrow and a better you is out there waiting to be realized … lean into the driving rain and press on … past that storm called uncertainty is a warm dry meadow called success to rest. There you can only stay for a short time before the storm clouds will catch you and it all begins again. It’s nothing personal … it’s just life and the cycle never ends until your last trip around the sun.

_1. Experience is knowledge you have after you needed it. _
_2. We all wish we could sell our experience for what it cost us. _
3. There is nothing more expensive than regret.


Thought for the day: November 06, 2018. If you are an American it is time to vote. It’s your duty and a way to honor all those who have died to preserve your right to support whom ever you wish. This is a duty that all American’s have, failure to vote is unacceptable.


_“Nothing esteems the right to vote more than working in places where it is suppressed” AA.



Are they training for CrossFit or for war because those numbers would require that someone live in the gym.


Yes, I agree with you. The Gunny has a more realistic approach. I am attaching a link to an article written by a retired officer. It is excellent and has valid points for both civilian and military command. One of the points the author made was how much he learned from working with a worthless leader. I think that applies to all of us whether in civilian or LEO / Military capacity.



Thought for the day: Yesterday was unique because a foreign SF unit was on the range with a “communication officer” shooting pictures for their Instagram page. silly shit IMHO. Anyway I was reminded of this:



I like Gunny’s test. Covers off what you need. Easy to administer. Might lack an agility component, but for overall do the work kind of fitness, it seems pretty good. Anyone hitting those goal numbers (full disclosure; I wouldn’t get my 15 pull up/leg raises today) would be someone I wouldn’t be worried about working with, fitness-wise.