Red teaming yourself: Critical self assessment

Next time you’re alone in a safe and secure place — home is the optimal choice, but the company locker room is equally suitable — stand in front of the mirror and ask, “What about me is most vulnerable to attack by an assailant?”

Be honest.

Be brutal.

Be your assailant.

“How would I hurt this guy/gal in a go-for-broke close-quarters battle?”

You’re red teaming yourself, and that’s a good thing.

The term red teaming — the process of devising, planning, and executing a simulated attack — is most frequently associated with military planning and counterterrorism operations, but it can be taken down to the micro-level in the form of critical self assessment. 

Brutally, Not Negatively, Honest
We all have weaknesses. We cannot begin to mitigate — let alone eliminate — those weaknesses unless we’re brutally (but not negatively!) honest with ourselves. 

What do I mean brutally but not negatively? Let’s take weight for an example. When polled about their New Years resolutions, about two-thirds of all Americans consistently say they want to lose weight.

Instead of saying, “I’m fat” (or some variant on it) say, “I could lose ten pounds.”

I’ll start. My core strength can be improved. In fact, I will improve my core strength.

I hate (and I mean, HATE) doing sit-ups. When my life got busier, it was incredibly easy for me to drop those “time-consuming” (NOT!) sit-ups every-so-often.

Well, every-so-often quickly became very-very-often, and soon thereafter became pretty much always. 

I look in the mirror and recognize that I’m a little flabby in the middle. That’s the spot on me that I’d attack. And I need to fix that problem.

The 13 Months of 2013
We’re approaching the New Year, and invariably we all make secret promised to ourselves like “I’m going to do more sit-ups.”

Let’s get a one-month head-start on 2013 and start working those resolutions now, so by the time those floral floats are rolling through downtown Pasadena, we’ve already made progress toward our goal!  

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, responsible for providing police training content and expert analysis on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips. Doug is also responsible for planning and recording the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, as well as being the on-air host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug also works closely with the PoliceOne Academy to develop training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Doug regularly represents PoliceOne as a public speaker in a variety of forums and is available for media interviews — he has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television news programs, and has been quoted in a host of print publications. 

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Contact Doug Wyllie

  1. Tags
  2. Officer Safety

Join the discussion

logo for print