SYNTHESIS: pt 2/2 A SOLDIER’S QUESTIONS & VODA'S ANSWERS - RASHID COLE

First I would like to say thank you Sgt. Cole for being respectful and for supporting my brother and Present of the Urban Sharp Shooters James McKoy. And as promised I will take the time out to answer your questions. 

 

"Do you have any LEO experience?"

Yes, I do. And remember that having or not having Law Enforcement experience is NOT a prerequisite for training anyone on the deployment of firearms. My experience in Law Enforcement simply comes from being a CORRECTIONS OFFICER here in the STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. But my more extensive background comes from working as a high-risk security contractor in the inner city (location withheld). Law Enforcement experience is a great thing to have, not because you have the power to affect an ARREST (CORRECTION OFFICERS do not have POWERS OF ARREST in the STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA for good reason), hell some CIVILIANS have that power in some states come to think of it.

 

But, for one working in Law Enforcement it gives them the experience needed to not only understand the mindset of a criminal and criminal elements; but how the criminal and the criminal elements play a role in the deployment of firearms for SD (self-defense). It should also be said that, having experience in Law Enforcement allows you to gain somewhat a psychological edge, and a type of psychological and physical conditioning that sort of helps you “get over the hump” when it comes time to pressing the trigger. This edge would be dependent on the make up of the OFFICER, geographical location and type of Policing being deployed.

 

"If so how does that differentiate from Military training?"

Law Enforcement training differs from Military training in that Law Enforcement “forces” you for lack of a better term to actively seek out illegal activities and illegal behaviors of CITIZENS in a reactive capacity. Also, it often allows you to somewhat act independently with some limitations when it comes to affecting an ARREST. The Military in contrast is simply about following orders. The solider has no LIBERTIES unless it is granted to them. Law Enforcement Officers retain their LIBERTIES in as much that they do not violate or “break the Law”. Remember, the key word here is LIBERTY not FREEDOM. No one has FREEDOM, we all only have LIBERTY, this pertains to both those that SERVE in a Law Enforcement capacity and the CIVILIAN.

 

When it comes to the aspect of Military training and how it differs from Law Enforcement training. We must first and foremost understand the basic premise of the two paths. The job of Law Enforcement or the POLICE is to enforce the POLICIES that POLITICIANS create. The job of the solider is to simply follow orders. Also, it should be noted that the two entities operate under a different set of Law. Law Enforcement operates on the LAW OF THE LAND and the Military operate under MILITARY LAW or the punk ass U.C.M.J. (which is anything but uniform) and the Geneva Convention. So, this is what dictates the type of training Military personnel will receive.

 

The Law Enforcement Officer will be trained to deal with SUBJECTS from a Close Quarter perspective. Within that perspective, the Law Enforcement Officer has certain “Rules of Engagement” to adhere to because the SUBJECT still has their perspective LIBERTIES. Thus, the training is centered around persevering those LIBERTIES while still protecting the OFFICER while operating within his job functions. So, the Law Enforcement Officer must shoot center mass (for legal reasons), and they must subdue the SUBJECT with the least amount of force to overcome the SUBJECT so they do not violate the use of force continuum.

 

As a side note: This reminds me of when I as a Law Enforcement Officer (CORRECTIONS OFFICER) and I was assaulted in the Prison system. While operating in that capacity, and even though I was being assaulted, I simply cannot engage in the attacking of joints and deploy unapproved SD (self-defense) measures. I have to unfortunately, go by the book. In doing so, so many times often Law Enforcement Officers must sometime eat the dirty end of the stick to avoid Law suites and civil suits.

 

The Military or the solider on the other hand does not necessary have those restrictions as long as they are following orders. But they [Military] operate on a somewhat different set of rules; but the rules often times appear to be similar to Law Enforcement. For the Law Enforcement Officer its:

 

“If a law isn’t being broken then everything is all good”

For the solider:

“Hey man I got orders”

 

So yes, they [Military] have a protocol (Military Law, Geneva Convention or International Law) that must be famous, but the premise of why they operate the way they do is different.

 

Moreover, it also depends on the MOS (Military occupational specialty) or job function that the solider does while in service. Since I was a 68M (Nutrition Care Specialist) the training that I had to undergo was absolute garbage. But it needs to also be said I was part of the 80% of the Military that receives this garbage training in terms of weapon manipulation. Why because we are not Military Police, Infantry or a pure combat unit (that 20%). So, the training that the 80% of the Military which I was a part of gets only requires us to shoot to qualify every six months and do some fuck around training every Thursday for Sergeant’s Time. Most of which was to simply “check off the block” to say “we did it”. This is indicative of 80% of the Military. So, it [Military training] is not real or relative training per se that will come close to the training in which Law Enforcement will receive (nowhere close). This is where the difference lies.

 

Now it should be known that the Law Enforcement Officers do get adequate training. But many of the times it boils down to the OFFICER being too damn tired to shoot at much as many of them would like to in order to be proficient with their firearms. Between working 12 hour days, the kids, the wife, the husband (role strain), mental health issues (PTSD and depression), the CONVICTS, having to subdue SUBJECTS to affect an ARREST (shit don’t let them be a runner), the investigations, COURT appearances, weather conditions (gotta write this ticket now), folks trying to get over on you and the general goofy shit that life just happens to throw at you - Law Enforcement Officers are tired as fuck. Being burned out often leads to them only showing up for in service training and the qualification shoots.

 

"I know the military is tied down to schedules, money, and safety requirements."

 

And your correct, the Military is tied down to schedules, money, and safety requirements. All of these variables have a negative effect on the quality and the types of training that soldiers can receive, unless is it a “hi-speed” unit. Safety requirements for both Military and Law Enforcement alike have nothing to really do with safety at all. What I mean by this is that it's like 30% safety and 70% “we don’t want to be sued and we can’t afford to pay workmen’s comp”. That is the reality of training for Police and Military.

"So how can the military improve their instruction?"

One of the biggest ways the Military can improve its instruction is to do at least three things:

  • Let go of these old ass Generals and CSM (Command Sergeant Majors)

  • Be willing to seek out unconventional sources that will provide a different perspective in the realm of training

  • Take the high training standard that they have for combat units (that 20% and apply it to the 80%) and don’t be afraid to let go of some folks

See these old ass Generals and CSM don’t want to let go of their “glory days” and embrace change. Why because they become less relevant and make no mistake about it, they will hold up progress and slow down evolution. It's a little something called "self-interest" and "self-serving bias" both are lapses in judgement and cognition. And when someone become less relevant they feel as if they don’t matter anymore.  But it’s not that they won’t matter anymore, it just that what they are used to doing became easy to them and they are afraid that they may not be able to perform the new set of tasks that may be set in front of them. It becomes a self-esteem issue and they are more likely to fall into a identity crisis.

 

Ever noticed how after they [high ranking Officers and Enlisted] do 25 and 30 years in the Military and then they retire they tend to die off quickly? That’s because most of the time they have nothing to replace their identity with. They become maladaptive. One day you mattered and the next day you don’t. It’s hard for them. This is another reason why they are more inclined to either get out, retire and stay close to Military bases. But in the "real world" like Chicago, nobody gives a fuck about who you were or what you did in the Military. Them boys will blow your head off for stepping on their "J's".

 

When it comes to seeking out unconventional sources that provide a different perspective this is another thing that the Military should be doing. Not just for combat units, but for every unit. Why? Because there is always new knowledge out there to obtain, because technology, cognitive processes and training methods are constantly evolving. So, for instance, the NRA may be a conventional source as is it pertains to firearm training. But VODA is an unconventional source that challenges the NRA and brings a new perspective to training. Both are beneficial to the solider but one will always be cutting edge (that would be me, VODA).

 

In reference to my last point – “Take the high training standard that they have for combat units (that 20% and apply it to the 80%) and don’t be afraid to let go of some folks.” It’s a tough transition. Why? One reason would be because many people joined the Military for a check LOL! The saying here at Fort Bragg is we don’t have soldiers we have employees! LMFAO! But it’s true, people tend to take jobs in which they don’t have to do much to pay the bills and who can blame them! But at the same time the line has be drawn somewhere! They [Military] must raise the standards. And in doing so we must accept that many won’t make it. So, I recommend taking that same high speed training that combat units recive and distribute it Military wide. Fear will get you nowhere.

 

Stay safe Sgt. 

 

VODA

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