A discussion was happening on a gun forum about the ‘what would you do’ kinda thoughts when seeing events on the news. This is good to do because a lot of those questions need to be answered BEFORE the situation comes up.
Ok. What I was discussing was the concept of planning vs. doctrine. You need to have both but one or the other will rule depending on the situation. Training contributes to both…and both are invaluable.
Your rules of engagement need to be concrete. Once the decision to engage has been made, what follows will be guided by either planning or doctrine.
When does planning rule?
The answer to that comes down to what we call a ‘set piece engagement’. For all of us, our home would be the common example but it can also be your church, workplace, etc. In Texas, we have no duty to retreat especially in our home. These would be the places that we have somewhat of an authority over the location.
In military terms, a set piece engagement is usually a defensive one. We dig the tanks in in predetermined locations with pre-dug fallback locations for each…same with communications, infantry, artillery, mess hall, etc. We can do the same in our homes.
My wife and I have contingency plans. If we are in bed and the alarm goes off, she is to not pass go…not collect $200. She is to grab a phone and beeline for the master bath. On her way to the master closet, she is to grab a .380 in one of the bathroom vanity drawers. Meanwhile, I arm with 9mm on my bedside table and move caddy corner across the room from the door to where the AR is. I then arm myself with that and sit tight. My wife is by now on the phone with 911. I am hoping to God the guy takes the TV and leaves. If he opens my bedroom door, he gets himself ventilated.
That is just one of the set-piece defensive situations we have planned for. Before our daughter married and moved out, she was in her bedroom that was on the other side of the house. If a bad guy was in the living room, he was between me and my daughter (once she moved out, it simplified things.)
At your workplace, you need to have egress plans set now. And the decision needs to be made now as to are you going to do what is best for you? Or are you willing to perform a ‘delaying action’ to help those around you out? That question needs to be answered before the situation even arises. Same with your church or anywhere else that someone decides to bring the engagement TO you.
A good defensive set piece engagement would require that the offense bring forces of three to one against you statistically.
When does doctrine rule?
Doctrine rules when it is NOT a set-piece engagement. This is most everywhere else you go besides work, home, church, etc. It is not feasible to plan for every possible scenario in every possible location. But you CAN establish a doctrine in regards to your response.
In an artillery unit, we trained for the occurrence of being hit on the move. Doctrine dictated that we stop the trucks, disconnect the howitzer from the trucks, spread the trails and rotate the gun to bring the tube to bear on the enemy. Now, this configuration was not optimal orientation of your truck (your ammunition supply) and the route to the breech is not efficient. But this is to be expected of a non set piece engagement.
If you have to deal with an engagement in the walmart parking lot (…or the crowded subway car…or any other environment where you don’t have the defensive advantage,) your response is not going to be near as efficient as you would like it to be. That is the nature of the beast.
Training can make these engagements more efficient but GySgt Highway’s ‘improvise, overcome, and adapt’ comes to the forefront. You are already behind the 8-ball from the get-go. You increases the odds in your favor if your doctrine is already established and your rules of engagement have been concreted.
Doctrine is a set of rules applied consistently. You set the rules and stick to them and it removes as much of the decision making that has to be done as possible. . The ‘deciding’ is the most stressful part.
There are only two main decisions to be made…
Do I engage or do I not? If the engagement comes to you, this decision is made FOR you.
The only other main decision that needs to be made is to when to shut down your response.
For me? I have decided in my mind that, if the decision is made to engage, a predetermined script is set in motion and followed through. The script begins with clearing leather and ends with a threat that is no longer a threat to anyone….ever. But I CAN make a conscious decision to stop that script if I determine that the threat to me and those around me has been reduced to an acceptable level.
So, in conclusion, there are only two decisions to be made WHEN the situation happens…1) whether to engage or not and 2) when to shut your response down. All OTHER decisions need to be made before the situations arise.
Game scenarios in your head. Booth or a table at the restaurant? Identify your exits. What is cover? What is concealment? It is mental exercise in addition to being preparation for whatever…
Y’all stay safe and keep a round in the chamber.