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Police Training

November 28, 2012

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Red teaming yourself: Critical self assessment

Submitted by:
Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

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!  




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