Know your application

This is a discussion on Know your application within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Knowing your application first applies to training, tactics, and tools. When it comes to all things tactical, most of the information we come across comes ...

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Thread: Know your application

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Know your application

    Knowing your application first applies to training, tactics, and tools. When it comes to all things tactical, most of the information we come across comes from the military and law enforcement. If you are the average concealed weapon carrier, very little of this information will apply to you. For the sake of this article, I will discount the training, tactics, and tools produced, sold to and modeled by the military for citizen use. We will look at law enforcement, since the officer and the citizen walk on the same streets.

    As with anything else, you need to have a base of knowledge when it comes to training. For the officer, this includes a heavy emphasis of law to include the fourth amendment, first aid, firearms, defensive tactics, and officer survival. Sadly, the last two areas, defensive tactics and officer survival, the things an officer needs every day, are the areas that cause lost time injuries, bumps and bruises, and along with firearms can lose recruits from classes. For that reason, standards are massaged for the overall “good”. The bottom line is that the average recruit goes through an academy that is usually 14-26 weeks in length. Everything is geared toward recognizing, investigating, and making arrests in response to criminal activity. Most police activity stems from responding to calls for service and self initiated activities to include traffic stops and street contacts. How does this contrast to the citizen and his training? The officer almost always has some direct information in reference to a person and situation he is approaching. This begins with both, the officer and communications, knowing exactly where he is if he needs assistance. Then there is the information provided by communications, the complainant or his own observations prior to contact. Usually the officer is able to at least to some extent choose the time and location of contact with the suspect. It is with this knowledge that police are trained. The officer also knows that other officers responding to help him have a base line or training allowing him to quickly communicate what he needs and have those needs acted upon. The officer and those that respond in theory are able to protect themselves, especially recruits.

    How does the above contrast to the citizen walking down the same street as the officer? Unless you happen to be close to home or business you may not know exactly where you are all the time. Realistically there is no daily necessity for you to know the 100 Block you are in or what direction you are facing. Chances are that nobody else in the world knows your exact location either. With every step you take and every person you pass you are moving through more and more of the unknown. You have no idea what crime is going on at specific addresses or how many of the people you pass are wanted. Anyone you have with you, including your family and friends, will likely be a liability to you during any conflict. If they have no previous training or are unarmed, they will only increase your exposure and slow your reaction. Nobody responding to your situation will know who you are and whether or not you are a good guy or a bad guy.

    So, for unlike the police officer, the citizen’s location is unknown to the rest of the world. Even though he may be aware of his surroundings, he may not know important details about his surroundings. The person who chooses to criminalize him will be the one who chooses the time and location of the contact. He will have to defend those with him because they likely do not possess the skills necessary to defend themselves. If he does survive the altercation and is able to use his cell phone to call 911, they still don’t know “who” he is. Information ranging from his location to what he needs will need to be ciphered by the dispatcher. The officers arriving on the scene won’t know him or be able to automatically trust the validity of his information.

    From the following descriptions you can see why information on training, tactics, and tools from law enforcement may not be the best choice for the citizen. Each and every one of us is responsible for evaluating our own situation and what, if anything, applies from law enforcement circles in spite of marketing.

    A rule of thumb in law enforcement is that you should not initiate contact with a group of people by yourself, or clear a house by yourself. This is a sound tactic. Who is going to walk through a crowd with you or clear your house during a bump in the night? Doubtfully anyone with your skill level since you can’t get anyone to “train” with you. The majority of law enforcement tactics for known situations are based on at least having one other officer. Again, this would not apply to the citizen.

    Now on to the last, and everyone’s favorite subject, the toys, the hardware, the guns, knives, flashlights, and assorted good guy gear. Don’t ever assume because something is issued to a police department that it is good. Here is a true story. When I started with the agency I retired from, I was issued a Glock 19 in 9MM. I was ecstatic since my previous agency issued the Beretta 92 FS in 9MM. The Beretta was accurate, but I found it to be a brick, especially off duty. While being issued my gear, I commented to the First Sergeant why the agency adopted the Glock19 instead of the Glock 17, which is more often carried as a service pistol. He said the chief had come from a large agency and they carried the Glock 17 and he wanted something a little bigger, 19 being two more than 17 made the 19 an obvious choice. No, this story is not made up. The point is that officers usually carry whatever they are issued or told to carry. Beyond that most police are not gun guys and really don’t give a rats ass what they carry and go to the range only to qualify and look at their pistol as a hindrance, not a survival tool, especially off duty.

    Another point that needs to be made is the fact that just because one member of a military unit, police department, or any “team” carries an item does not mean that it is issued, endorsed, or being adopted by that organization. Most of the high-speed gear on the duty belts of police or the vests of soldiers is purchased by them to meet their application because what they were either issued or not supplied with in the first place was insufficient. They evaluated their needs and chose their gear based on those needs.

    So when considering your training, tactics, and tools consider your own needs and if what you are currently using or considering apply. Also consider your sources of information on these things. If they don’t understand your application, they cannot provide relevant, realistic, and reliable information.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    Another point that needs to be made is the fact that just because one member of a military unit, police department, or any “team” carries an item does not mean that it is issued, endorsed, or being adopted by that organization. Most of the high-speed gear on the duty belts of police or the vests of soldiers is purchased by them to meet their application because what they were either issued or not supplied with in the first place was insufficient. They evaluated their needs and chose their gear based on those needs.


    I agree with this. Many members of my military unit carried items that were not issued, but necessary in their view.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

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    Member Array Scouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian View Post
    Another point that needs to be made is the fact that just because one member of a military unit, police department, or any “team” carries an item does not mean that it is issued, endorsed, or being adopted by that organization. Most of the high-speed gear on the duty belts of police or the vests of soldiers is purchased by them to meet their application because what they were either issued or not supplied with in the first place was insufficient. They evaluated their needs and chose their gear based on those needs.


    I agree with this. Many members of my military unit carried items that were not issued, but necessary in their view.
    Case in point, red dot sights, expensive hiking boots, wrap around shooting glasses, and a whole mess of double soled socks!

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