Tuesday, September 11, 2018


17 years ago I was a Senior Non Commisioned Officer in the US Army Special Forces. I was in a isolation facility doing mission planning when word of  what has come to be known as the 9/11 attacks happened.

Today as I write this I am a Paramedic sitting at an ambulance station waiting for some tones to drop.

Lots of things have changed since 2001, more things will change as life goes on. The victims of 9/11 will experience no change because their opportunity for change was taken from them.

Never forget the attack on our country and honor their sacrifice by living a life worth living.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Mandalay Bay FEMA After Action Report

FEMA released its report on the Mass Shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on 1 Oct 2017.

Some interesting highlights that bolster positions I have promoted for some time in regards to civilian preparedness and medical response.

"Good Samaritan stories of civilians—as well as many off-duty first responders and military—aiding, protecting, and providing care to the wounded were a major success observed in this response. These efforts were essential to saving many lives before emergency medical crews were able to access the site. A medical director for emergency preparedness at a trauma center that received patients from the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 explained, “Time is the most critical factor…People would talk about the golden hour. Really, what we’re talking about is the golden minutes.”3 Transportation and basic first-aid “Stop the Bleed” care provided by local citizens and other concertgoers enabled many wounded to later access the life-saving care they needed "

From the report:
Recommendations: Fire Department and Law Enforcement

 Ensure that response agencies have mechanisms in place to coordinate with civilian volunteers and organize donations, efficiently incorporating these resources into operations.
Support community “Stop the Bleed” first-aid training and education programs. "

Monday, August 20, 2018

IBJJF Chicago Summer Open 8.11 and 12 2018

So as some of you know I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for self defense purposes about 2 years ago. BJJ has become a very important part of my life. Its a great stress reliever,workout and I have met some awesome people. Although not my primary concern over the last few years the thought of competition crossed my mind. Eventually I felt it was necessary to give it a shot. I set my sights on the IBJJF Summer Open in Chicago. A  good number of fellow Academy members would be going. My problem was I am still considered a novice as BJJ takes years if not decades to master and I started later in life than the average student. So decisions needed to be made. If I was to compete at my skill level I would need to compete against guys half my age. To compete in my age division I would have to register at a higher level of skill. After talking with our head instructor I followed his advice and went up a skill level to grapple with those close to my age. 

I won't go into the match details but suffice to say I was nervous until I got on the mat. I hadn't competed in a grappling event in 36 years. It turned out to be a very positive experience. I took second in my weight/age group as well as second in the open division in my age group. Both of my losses came to the number one ranked competitor in the world. Even in losing I felt I was competitive and found things to work on going forward. The other competitors were gracious and friendly, and my teammates were supportive and encouraging. All and all it was a great experience and I will be competing again in the future.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dark Angel Medical Direct Action Response Training 7.28-29.2018

I spent my weekend attending the Dark Angel Medical DART class. Dark Angel Medical is a national medical gear and training company based in Colorado. The course description for DART is as follows:

  • Physiological and Psychological reactions to environmental stress
  • The importance of having the proper Combat Mindset
  • Basic Anatomy and Physiology of life-sustaining systems
  • H, A, B, C’s—Hemorrhage, Airway, Breathing and Circulation
  • Breakdown and usage of Individual Med Kit components
  • Proper stowage and employment of the IMK
  • Hands-on application of the IMK
  • Basic and Advanced Airway management -treating and monitoring tension pneumothorax, sucking chest wound and flail chest
  • Airway adjunct device placement-Nasopharyngeal Airway
  • Basic First Aid and Advanced wound care
  • Application of Bandages and Hemostatic Agents
  • Application of tourniquets
  • Recognition and Treatment of various injuries (Gunshot, Laceration, Burn, Airway, Head, Orthopedic, Environmental)
  • Recognition and treatment of hypovolemic (hemorrhagic) shock
  • Moving and positioning victims with various injuries
  • Response to active shooter situation
  • Proper use of cover and cover vs. concealment
  • Casualty recovery in an Active Shooter situation
  • Mass casualty triage procedure

I had been wanting to train with them for a few years as I am a fan of their gear. The 2 day course did not disappoint. The instructor was a fellow Paramedic and although  the techniques were not anything I had never seen I did pick up some pointers. It was a good way to spend a weekend with responsible people trying to become better. I would recommend this course for lay people that want to learn some life saving interventions.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Arch and Relax

Back in the mid 1990's I was assigned as a Military Freefall Instructor at the John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. It was the one time in my life I can truly say I was an expert at something. But it didn't start out that way.

My first task upon assignment was to pass the Instructor Candidate Course. I had been on a Special Forces Military Freefall team for a few years and had about 100 Static Line and 50 Freefall jumps. Most of those were combat equipment night jumps. Because that is how you train. Unfortunately to be an instructor you had to learn how to fly your body like you owned it and not just fall through space.

I struggled. I would exit the aircraft and tumble or once I got in a stable freefall position I would start buffeting and turning so bad I was teetering on being out of control. This went on for a few jumps. Finally one of the Candidate Instructors pulled me aside and said " Dude, you need to just arch and relax. Quit being so stiff." On the very next jump after I got belly to earth, I started buffeting. I remembered his words and I just imagined my arms and legs being long pieces of limp spaghetti and just let them flow in the wind. The buffeting stopped immediately and the problem never reoccurred.

Sometimes we try too hard. As I have gotten older I have become way more accepting of other's shenanigans and less tolerant of the stress caused by conflict. I try  not to worry about things I cannot effect or that do not really effect me. I try to follow Stoic philosophy in that regard. The guy with a degree in Political Science, now no longer pays attention to politics. It became too divisive and I was getting upset about things I couldn't change. Arguing about Elephants and Donkeys on Facebook is not how I want to spend my time.

A little over two years ago I took up training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Getting smashed by a guy 20 years younger while redlining your cardiovascular system is a great way to remain humble. Being humble is a great way to go through life. I am still working on it. I am still working on being a better me. One percent better the philosophy of Japanese Kaizen has become my goal. Small improvements everyday.

All you need to do is Arch and Relax

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

MDTS Practical Pistol 1 and Practical Shotgun 1 6.23- 24 2018

This past weekend I made the trip up to Wisconsin to see my friends at Resilience Development. They were hosting Chris Fry of MDTS and Shivworks  Collective for his Practical Pistol 1 and Practical Shotgun 1. I had taken Chris's Practical Small Knife 1 and 2 earlier in the year and found him to be a very good instructor. Knowledgeable and personable.

My goals for the pistol class were to get outside my comfort zone and see some new instructional methods. Mission accomplished.

Here is a synopsis of the class

Mindset and Mechanics
Use of Force Overview
Fundamentals of Marksmanship
Gun Handling
Precision shooting drills
Strong and weak side manipulation
Concealed Carry presentation
Proactive movement and assessment

I won't go into detail but I did find some gaps to shore up and some things I can use in my own instruction.

Primarily though the weekend was about the shotgun. I have limited to no defensive shotgun training and was looking forward to this class.

These are the subjects taught in class

Ammunition and Selection
Modifications and options
Ready conditions
Stance,Mount and Grip
Recoil Mitigation
Fundamentals of Marksmanship
Preparatory Gun Handling
Proactive Movement
Emergency and Tactical Loading
Slug Select Drill
Fundamental use of Cover and Concealment

Despite it being hot and humid, I got out of the course what I wanted and feel much more proficient with a shotgun in a defensive context.

CVO Gun Talk Episode 033 Rob Pincus

Arguably our best episode ever

Friday, May 25, 2018

Precision Rifle Class 5.24.18

Traveled to the wilds of Wisconsin to spend the day shooting .22LR in a precision context. Tested the limits and capabilities of my equipment and the round.  Haven't worked with Target Ranging or milling things to estimate size and distance for many years. Was a fun day.