4 Sept 04
From a friend in Country:
“I was hit twice with 30-Soviet rounds (7.62X39), once in the left shoulder and another in the back, when down near the Pak border earlier this year. The hit to the back was stopped by a Cercom plate, but the shoulder hit went through and through. Happily, it hit no bone. Felt rather like getting struck in the upper arm with a pipe. Blood started flowing steadily out of the exit wound. I could feel it running down my arm. No pain immediately; just numbness. We both dropped to the prone and returned a heavy volume of fire. The attackers had been on a motorbike, and they tried to drive away over a hill. They never made it!
My partner covered the rear of the vehicle while I drove, battle dressings on both the entry and exit wounds. Even with a bullet hole in that arm, I was able to work the shifter and drive our truck for three miles. Then, pain kicked in with a vengeance! Suddenly, my arm just refused to work. We didn’t stop though. I just drove with the other arm.
It was a six-hour ride back to Kabul and medical treatment. I took several shots of pain medication, but eventually my partner had to take over driving. I never passed out and was able to provide security the rest of the way.”
Lesson: Pain is no fun, but it can be managed. THE BEST FIRST AID FOR ANY BATTLE WOUND IS THE IMMEDIATE NEUTRALIZATION OF THE ENEMY!
If you’re going to die, you will be unconscious almost instantly. Therefore, if you’re conscious enough to realize you’ve been shot, you’re probably going to survive your wounds, providing you take care of business first, then get proper treatment for your wounds. Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself is almost always a death sentence.
Three dangerous conditions that need to be treated immediately are:
Happily, all these can be effectively stabilized on the spot. This is, in fact, the gist of our TACTICAL TREATMENT OF GUNSHOT WOUNDS course. Recommended for all who carry guns and are likely to come in contact with gunshot wounds.
4 Sept 04
More training with the USMC:
Vicki, Pete Taussig, Keith Brown, Steve Camp, Fred Blish, Tom Burris and I just completed another two-day Pistol Class with Marines at Camp Pendleton. We also did a two-day Urban Rifle Class. Both were run “hot,” of course. Marines loved it! My rifle students were mostly e-2s through e-5s. All were enthusiastic and eager to learn everything they could. What a joy to work with such splendid people! Hope we have, as is the case with our pistol students, made them forever dissatisfied with conventional training on cold ranges.
We used Betterbilt’s superlative steel rifle targets, as well as steel targets developed by a new company, called Salute. On the pistol range, we used Betterbilt’s ever-popular Rotator Targets. None of our students had ever shot on steel before, and none had ever been on a hot range.
We did advancement exercises, where students started in a truck, exited and advanced forward, using several articles of cover. They were expected to communicate effectively and use cover effectively as well as engage targets with deadly accuracy. All rifles and pistols stayed hot, before, during, and after. We also did close-range drills. Most had never fired their M-16s and M-4s on three-round-burst before.
I think we have succeeded in persuading high-level people (who came out to observe) that the “hot range” needs to become standard, system wide. They were told passionately, by all my students, of the superiority of this kind of training. If this is the way we’re going to be in County, then this is the way we should be training here.
I told them, “You don’t need me to do this! You guys can start running your own ranges this way every time you train your crew.” One question comes up constantly, from both enlisted, NCOs, and officers. They asked, “How do we make the change? How do we start doing this?”
Here is what I told them, and I may never get invited back, but it had to be said: “You have to take over your own training. You have to personally take your crew to the range and say to the resident range staff, ‘Go find something else to do, and take your pith helmets with you. I’m running this range now. We’re taking over, and your services are no longer needed.’ So long as entrenched MTU folks occupy their fossilized bureaucracy, nothing will ever change in their “range kingdom.” All they will ever worry about is competing in sterile marksmanship matches. We all need to get ourselves into the training business, and them out!
I realize the foregoing is easy for me to say, but the bold and fearless among us have always had to lead the ignorant (sometimes kicking and screaming) out of their dying universe. With this world deteriorating as fast as it is, these changes can’t happen too soon. It is surely exciting to be part of it!
5 Sept 04
From a friend in the federal system:
“My agency is currently divided into twenty divisions, with one primary firearms instructor per division. A while back these positions were held for those that, for one reason or another, were ‘retired in place.’ The result was firearms ‘training’ units that held only the minimum, mandated quarterly ‘qualification’ session. These sessions consisted of generating an academic score, put into effect for no other reason than to pacify HQ and the legal unit. We firearms instructors in the field saw a dire need for change. It would require managerial support at the highest level.
We made it happen! Now, division firearms training has been taken over by aggressive, intelligent, assertive tactical operators who have reached out to the tactical community to network and share information and techniques. The result is that we still do ‘qualification’ in order to mollify those who still believe it is the barometer for success in armed confrontations. However, the rest of our training time is spent working on movement, effective use of cover, communication, multiple target engagement, tactical reloading, malfunction clearing, weapons transitioning, and individual and team tactics, and, yes, all ranges are run hot!
All of this has been accomplished by passionate individuals who approached management and explained the liability and consequences of failing to properly train. These hard-charging guys and gals still have to listen to whining and sniveling from some of our troops who are not eager to work at their craft, but we all sleep well at night, knowing that we are working continuously at providing the best training and equipment possible. If you look at recent shooting incidents in which my agency has been involved, it’s obvious that this new training policy is paying off. Those who have been personally involved will tell you just that.
Strange to see how training for the real world generates so much instructor and administrative resistance, until it is finally implemented and becomes successful. Then, of course, it suddenly has a thousand fathers! Students, on the other hand, instantly recognize when techniques taught relate to the world in which they operate.
I can’t tell you how excited I get when I read your e-mails of progress with military training. It comes as no surprise that your training has been well received by enthusiastic troops. It also comes as no surprise that they have proven themselves to be capable of absorbing the most advanced firearms training. Why else would the United States be the only remaining super power? And why else would the US Marines be known as the World’s Finest Fighting Force?
Keep fighting the good fight.”
Lesson: Winners never quit. Losers miss the burrito.
13 Sept 04
Life in the Philippines, from a friend there:
Unlike in your country, unarmed security guards are unheard of here. Pistol-gripped shotguns are common, along with domestically manufactured revolvers. The firm that makes these revolvers also exports to the USA under the ‘Charles Daly’ label. Our local politicos, like politicians everywhere, arrogantly consider themselves exempt from the law. They often travel with military rifles and submachine guns, along with pistols. Most have no training. Their ‘bodyguards’ are nationalized gangsters; little more than common thugs.
Public transportation is bad here. The promise that light rail would alleviate the high number of vehicular accidents on the road was a lie, as has been the case everywhere it has been tried. I advise foreign tourists to use hotel shuttles exclusively. Roadside cabbies have dirty, poorly maintained vehicles, and are involved in lots of accidents. Not recommended.
Do not get on a bus! They are basically mobile stop-and-robs, especially on payday. Pickpockets also haunt busses regularly and target tourists.
Military and police here regularly shoot soft, steel targets. You would not allow these targets on your range. Injuries are common. Civilians are normally smart enough to vacate the range when this kind of activity takes place. There is no domestic manufacturer of hard, steel targets.
In short, we do the best we can. Be thankful you live where you do. Stay armed in any event!”
Comment: My friend is a good shooter and a good guy. He often reminds me to fully appreciate my lot in life.
13 Sept 04
“Instruction for the Knights Templars:”
The Knights Templars were Christian knights sworn to defend key sites in the newly seized Holy Land in the wake of the ‘First’ (Barons’) Crusade. Templars were accustomed to fighting outnumbered, and they were greatly feared. Consummate devotion to mission and faith made them nearly unbeatable.
“…truly he is fearless and secure. While his body is properly armed, his soul is also clothed with the armor of faith. He fears neither demons nor men.
When readying for battle, on his exterior is steel, not gold. His horse is swift and strong, not pompous and decorated. His purpose is fighting, not parades. He seeks victory, not glory. He would rather strike than impress.”
Comment: Sounds like good advice for us too. Gaudy, self-impressed armies didn’t last long then, nor now!
15 Sept 04
More comments from the Philippines:
“Some time ago, Communist hit squads were plying the city with specific orders to take out men in uniform and steal their carry pistols in order to arm other insurgents. Despite this threat, many cops limited their security measures to merely dressing in civilian clothes after their shift ended. Many were shot to death at the gates of their own homes, simply because they did not foresee where they were most predictable and lax.”
Lesson: Don’t ever delude yourself into thinking you’re too insignificant to be a target. In today’s world, even children are targets!
15 Sept 04
From a friend on OH on frangible ammunition:
“Just completed class at OPOTA last week. None of our pistols liked the frangible ammunition that is now required at this facility. All went down with consistent failure to fee and failure to go into battery. I personally cleaned several. Didn’t solve the problem. Then I took them all to the outdoor range and changed to real ammunition. Problems instantly disappeared.”
Lesson: “Frangible,” “green,” and “clean” ammunition is crap! It is ineffective for anything but practice, and problems like the forgoing are so common, training is always degraded. Not recommended.
17 Sept 04
Comments on frangible have been on both sides of the issue. Some think it is fine. However, this one is typical:
“Since my agency made the switch to lead-free/frangible, we have had nothing but trouble. We buy and consume one million rounds a year. We tested all brands. All demonstrated themselves to be unsatisfactory. Issues range from hard primers, to bullets disintegrating in magazines, to abbreviated shelf life, to cycling problems. Our selection was finally based, not on the best performance, but of the least of the poor performances! In any event, it is good for practice only. If is not suitable for any serious application, so we have to be careful not to get it mixed in with the good stuff.
A final note. We’ve been informed that bismuth is as undesirable as lead. No disposal facility will take it.
Looks as if the tree huggers are really keeping us ‘safe,’ eh?”
17 Sept 04
Training based on “condition”
At yet another range where we conduct training sessions I see the familiar sign posting safety “rules.” There is something about safe gun handling and not having alcohol on the range, but the last admonition is always the same: “Keep all guns unloaded until ready to use.” The people who write this stuff obviously don’t carry guns and have never given a conscious thought to the serious employment of any firearm. However, you see this same posting, even on ranges where “training” is supposed to be taking place. The concept of continuously carrying a gun in a high state of readiness has never crossed the minds of most people who administer typical ranges and who have these signs printed and posted.
We call it the “condition” approach to firearms training and handling. With this erroneous philosophy, the supposed condition of the gun is the only thing that matters. There are (1) loaded guns, which are “dangerous” and must be handled carefully (better yet, not handled at all), and there are (2) unloaded guns, which are “safe” and may be handled casually and heedlessly. On such ranges, loaded guns are the recipient of morbid, pathological fear and are considered to be so dangerous that they really shouldn’t be handled at all, much less carried in a holster. On those same ranges, despite all the hollow rhetoric to the contrary, supposedly unloaded guns are routinely handled carelessly. Indeed, they are handled with what can only be described as casual contempt, and all the dribble about “Let’s all pretend they’re loaded” falls on deaf ears.
So, once the “condition” of the gun is known or supposed, the handler can decide how it should be looked upon and handled. Accidents continue to happen when this philosophy is in place, because “safe” and “loaded” guns keep getting mixed in with each other! This is the resident school of thought on “cold” ranges, and there is no way any kind of competent training will ever take place so long as it is in place, because students will either look upon guns with illogical fear or nonchalant disdain. Neither is healthy or productive.
The correct philosophical approach to serious firearms training is the “the condition doesn’t matter” method. This was first articulated by Uncle Jeff in his four rules, but all four can all be rolled together in the universal admonition: DON’T DO STUPID THINGS WITH GUNS!” The “hot range” concept logically flows from this philosophical conclusion. Now, we handle all guns correctly, all the time. We don’t have to “pretend” they’re loaded. They ARE loaded, continuously, and all students need to become accustomed to it.
The US Navy routinely practices night carrier landings of jet aircraft. There is great danger associated with the practice, and, once in a while, an eighty-million dollar aircraft is piled up in the process. Such incidents are regrettable but are accepted as the price we must pay if we are to have competent pilots. There is no way night landings can be “simulated.” Pilots need to know they can do it, so they must actually do it. Regrettably, this correct philosophy has not filtered down to small-arms training. Some still naively believe we can train people to carry and use pistol and rifles in a dangerous environment by never actually doing it in training.
All training involves risk. Unfortunately, on what passes for training ranges, “safety” is defacto defined as “a maniacal preoccupation with the utter eradication of all risk, to the point where everyone promptly forgets why we’re even there.” If we’re going to truly prepare our students for real fighting, we must accept the risks that are inherent to real training, and stop conning ourselves with “pretend” training. We’re going to have accidents either way. One way, they at least serve a purpose. The other way, they are all in vain.
18 Sept 04
News from Brazil:
“Last Tuesday (14 Sept 04), forty-six Brazilian policemen, traveling via bus to a sports competition, were stopped and fleeced at gunpoint by four, armed robbers. The bus carrying the ALL UNARMED police officers was headed to the city of Salvador in Bahia when two cars carrying the robbery suspects forced it to stop on the main highway. Robbers took cameras, cellular phones, and wallets. Officers are lucky to be alive.
When boarding the bus, the police officers were told that there was no need for them to have guns, as this was not a job-related event. Apparently, someone forgot to tell the robbers!”
Lesson: Once again, any time someone tells you that you’re in a “safe place,” reach for your pistol! Resist the pressure to be stupid just because everyone else is.
18 Sept 04
John Newman’s excellent article on DTI’s Instructor Courses is now posted on our Web Page at http://defense-training.com. Informative and well written.
18 Sept 04
From a friend currently in Baghdad:
“There are six rules here (Baghdad). You won’t read them in any manual, but I personally indoctrinate every newly arriving trooper thus:
1. Never establish a pattern. Continuously frustrate the enemy’s expectations.
2. Never be unarmed. When necessary, carry concealed, but always have a gun and a blade on you.
3. Never give up. Never give in.
4. Nice guys are a dime a dozen. Daring, decisive, and caring leaders are priceless.
5. Know the locals. Know your beat.
6. Know when to act contrary to orders.
THE BEST MEDAL IS A SMILE ON THE FACE OF A LIVE COMRADE.”
Comment: It can’t be said too often: Leaders who genuinely care about their men are followed anywhere, without question and without hesitation. And, they make history! Soldiers not cared about, and supervised by the fearful and detached, invariably function like a disorganized hoard of tourists.
23 Sept 04
Comments on ported handgun barrels, from a friend at a large, metro police academy:
“We had a minor injury on our range yesterday. Students were firing at close range with pistols held close to holsters, with the support hand in a high, blocking posture. A student suddenly realized he had a laceration on the inside of his left forearm. He subsequently found a sliver of bullet jacket lodged in a cut on his arm.
A band-aid sufficed, but I was concerned about the origin of the bullet spatter. I then noticed that this student was using a ported G23. A student standing to his right found a similar fragment lodged in the underside of her cap visor. This piece was a long, curled ribbon, much like that from a sharp drill in soft metal. Ammunition was white box, generic. I’ve had similar occurrences with ported guns, but this is our first injury, albeit a minor one.
In any case, I agree with your assessment of ported pistols. The only hole that belong in a serious pistol’s barrel is the one the bullet comes out of.”
Comment: This kind of thing is surely not likely to be helpful during a real fight. Ported barrels do not belong on serious guns.
27 Sept 04
The Eastern Front
As the 1940s dawned, with the entire world on the brink of conflagration, Hitler, Stalin, and, to a lesser extent, Mussolini, competed for center stage in history’s fleeting dramaturgy. With his daring and brilliantly successful invasion of Poland in late 1939, which took everyone by surprise, Hitler was off to an early lead. Britain, under naive Chamberlain, confined its contribution to the Polish invasion to dropping leaflets over Germany!
Not to be outdone, Stalin invaded little Finland in December of the same year, and Mussolini did the same to neighboring Greece the following year. Both the Finnish and Greek invasions were disastrous failures. Heroic Finns fought the Soviets to a standstill and, in concert with winter weather, inflicted hideous losses on the inept invaders. Likewise, in less than a month, ill-prepared Italian troops were unceremoniously thrown out of Greece, again with staggering losses.
The “Little Corporal” (an insulting title Hitler garnered from his participation in WWI)) began to think himself a strategic genius, far superior in intellect to any of his generals. Unlike Russians and Italians, his troops were no amateurs. He was at the head of a phenomenal military machine that had been molded and refined since the 1600s. Superbly equipped, trained, and lead, the German Army was easily the best in Europe, indeed the most formidable Europe had ever seen!
On a roll, Hitler next began planning an amphibious invasion of England. However, operation “Sea Lion” was beset with delay after delay, owing to a grievous loss of German aircrews and aircraft at the hands of British pilots, now under Churchill’s command. Anxious for another galvanizing (and easy) victory, Hitler now abandoned his plans for the British Islands and instead looked east.
Hitler and Stalin were ostensible “allies” during the Polish invasion, but the two were implacable enemies, and Hitler thus had no compunction about double-crossing Stalin with a surprise intrusion into the Soviet Union. The invasion was code named “Operation Barbarossa,” after Emperor Frederic I (Frederick Barbarossa) of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1100s. Hitler had nothing but disdain for Russians in general and the Russian Army in particular. Stalin and his Bolsheviks presided over a decomposing and mostly dysfunctional national infrastructure. The poor performance of the Russian Army in Finland bolstered that belief. Hitler was quoted, “All we have to do is kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come tumbling down.”
He was largely correct. With a swift, Polish-style victory in Russia, Hitler would look unbeatable to the Allies, who, at the time, had only the strength to attack his perimeter in North Africa. But, victory would have to be fast, before winter bogged down his invasion force. It was a critical and audacious gamble, and one that Hitler could have won, were is not for his incessant micromanagement and delusional beliefs about his army’s, and air force’s, capabilities and his equally delusional beliefs about Russian resolve and resiliency. After a spunky start, Operation Barbarossa eventually stalled and disintegrated. Hitler’s gamble miscarried, and its failure dealt a fatal blow to the entire German war effort!
Operation Barbarossa was the largest land invasion ever carried out, before or since. In the beginning, Hitler’s mechanized columns effortlessly brushed aside Russian defenders. Russians, soldiers and civilians alike, particularly Russian Jews, were routinely rounded up and exterminated, wholesale. Loss of life was on a scale never seen before. Stalin’s forces could hardly withdraw fast enough. It seemed Moscow would be in German hands within weeks, and Russia would be so demoralized, further resistance would be only symbolic. With the coming of spring, victory could be consolidated.
But, way back in Berlin, with naive exuberance, Hitler decided to take personal command of the operation. He sought minute control over nearly every detail. Commanders were forced to wait days for approval for even trivial decisions. He vetoed the Moscow idea and directed his bewildered and frustrated generals to widen the front to an unsustainable degree and drive on to Stalingrad, the city that bore the name of his arch enemy. Dire warnings about deteriorating weather and stretched supply lines were contemptuously dismissed.
Meanwhile, with monumental effort, Stalin moved factories, indeed entire industrial parks, behind the Urals. There, safe from German invaders, he persistently rebuilt his devastated army. Stalin’s ruthless and relentless endeavor paid off. The Russians bounced back with a vengeance!
Weather and geography have historically conspired to impose a massive struggle on all invaders of Russia. Added to the new Russian T-34 tank (in great numbers), and a revitalized Russian Air Force, the combination brought Barbarossa to a grinding halt in December of 1941. Shivering German solders, with no winter clothing, discovered that willpower has it limits!
Hitler’s Air Force Chief, the vainglorious, detached, and utterly incompetent Hermann Goering, had flippantly promised that the dangerously isolated German Eastern Army could be adequately supplied by air and thus hold out indefinitely. It was a cruel fantasy! Goering didn’t have a clue, and couldn’t have cared less! Hitler, should have know better than to believe a blathering clown like Goering, who had been inexcusably wrong so many times before. This foolish blunder dealt, as it turns out, a fatal blow to the Eastern Campaign, and to the entire German war effort!
Ultimately, Stalingrad held out. At one point, German General von Paulus could have handily broken out of Russian encirclement, but he was personally directed by Hitler to stay put, and wait for Goering’s resupply by air, which never had the slightest chance of even materializing, much less succeeding. Out of gas, food, and ammunition, von Paulus was, in the end, forced to surrender to the Russians at Stalingrad’s very gates, or watch what was left of his command freeze and starve to death. Even so, few of the 250,000 German soldiers who surrendered, survived captivity. At this point, Russians had little sympathy for Germans. When they reached Berlin three years later, they had even less sympathy! Of the quarter-million Germans who surrendered at Stalingrad, fewer than 6,500 were returned alive to Germany after the War. In broken health, most of them did not live long thereafter.
To Westerners, the Eastern Front is the “Forgotten Campaign” of WWII, since it didn’t involve Americans. Few movies have ever been made about it, compared with hundreds made about D-day and subsequent American and British efforts in Western Europe. However, most historians now consider the Russian victory at Stalingrad to be the great turning point of the War. One can hardly say enough about Russian courage and resolve, nor can most even begin to contemplate the scale of suffering Operation Barbarossa brought to that part of the world.
Lessons: In warfare, micromanagement is always associated with disaster. Brave and audacious commanders, at every level, need the freedom to be everything that the word “commander” implies. Detached politicians, comfortable and far removed from the front, can hardly be expected to make better decisions that those who are actually in the fight. Even President Lyndon Johnson, many years later, would repeat Hitler’s mistake, and suffer a humiliating defeat in much the same way.
Only fools get drunk on initial successes! Hitler decided the war in Russia was over upon hearing the first optimistic field reports. Unfortunately, Stalin apparently failed to hear the bell!
27 Sept 04
Sagacious comments from a serious and longtime student about one of our recent pistol courses:
You are right about ammunition. Don’t bring crap. Shoot the real stuff. Damn the expense! I brought a case of CCI Blazer, mostly because it is readily available and relatively inexpensive. While it did go bang most of the time, it was dirty. Stoppages due to residue buildup started at 150 rounds. Also, the rim diameter was so small the extractor did not hold the case well. Considering the cost of travel, lodging, tuition, etc, a few extra bucks for best-quality ammo is not much. Next time, I’m bringing Cor-Bon.
I have been fortunate not to have experienced gun failures in the last few years. I was shooting my G36, that had previously worked flawlessly through a thousand rounds (I’m sure you hear that a lot!). I had fooled myself into thinking that my pistol just couldn’t fail. Fifty rounds into the course, ejection became erratic. I’m not sure whether it was the gun or the ammo, but it really doesn’t matter. The lesson here is that EVERY GUN WILL FAIL. Murphy will doubtless arrange for the failure to occur at the worst possible time! I’ll never again go to a course without a backup. I routinely carry a concealed pistol, as you know. I have never carried two. I will now! I’ll figure out how to do it.”
Comment: Sage advice! Serious training requires a serious and uncompromising commitment from all students. We never train enough. We need to extract maximum benefit from every minute we do.
30 Sept 04
An enlightened policy!
“Weapons, as well as duty gear, are collected and sealed as evidence as soon as possible after an OIS, but always out of public view. This preserves the officer’s dignity and also insures no allegations of tampering, even if made, will be credible. Although we do not have the immediate capability of replacing backups and personal weapons, duty gear and primary weapon are replaced the instant the officer’s weapon is impounded. All our officers are aware of this procedure and the reason for it. NO DUTY WEAPON IS EVER IMPOUNDED UNTIL A SUITABLE REPLACEMENT IS MADE AVAILABLE.
Involved (uninjured) officers are assigned an ‘escort officer’ and removed from the scene straightaway. They are taken to a local hotel and sequestered there. This eliminates the possibility that an officer will be taken to his home, only to be met there by members of the media. Arrangements are then made for family members, clergy, union representatives, legal counsel, medical people, and friends. We provide transportation. It is the job of our public relation officer to intercept and confront the media.
Involved officers they are not formally interviewed until later and are actually discouraged from discussing the incident until they have talked with their lawyer and union representative.
We don’t claim perfection, but our guys and gals know that we always have their best interests at heart. The system has been implemented several times, and has worked well.”
Comment: This is a wonderful model and should be standard through the Country.
30 Sept 04
If you haven’t already, here are several critical “things to learn” in these times. I give this frank advice to all my students:
>Learn the AR-15 system. The AR-15 may not be the perfect rifle, but it will be around for the remainder of our lifetimes, and you’ll probably have to use one sooner or later. Issues are airborne grit, lack of maintenance, overcharged magazines, and broken extractor springs, among others. AR-15s are found everywhere the USA has had influence.
>Learn the Kalashnikov system. You’ll find the Kalashnikov everywhere else! Made in China, Russia, Eastern Europe, South Africa (Rs), or Israel (Galil), they all work the same way. It’s a good system, but it needs competent maintenance.
>Learn about Glocks and SIGs. They’re everywhere and will be for the foreseeable future.
>Learn how to get a blade in your hand fast. Blades are useful for all sorts of things, but, in an emergency, you need one deployed and ready to go to work, fast.
>Learn how to eat MREs. You well may have to subsist on them. C-rations are out. MREs are in. There is a learning curve. Heating element is now water-activated. Everything is now in plastic packets. Hardtack (John Wayne crackers) are still in!
>Learn how to apply the Israeli Battle Dressing to wounds, even your own. This is the battle dressing everyone is using now, and it is superior, by far, to all its predecessors. It is literally a life saver, and you’ll probably have to use one, maybe sooner than you think.
>Learn how to effectively treat, in the field, a tension pneumothorax. A tension pneumothorax is commonly associated with penetrating chest wounds. The condition is often lethal within minutes, but it can be stabilized, and the wounded person can survive his trip to the OR.
>Learn how to use a Leatherman Tool. It will do lots of jobs. You need one and you need to know its many capabilities.