On September 11th, 2017

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Fending for Myself

VanQuest Javelin V-Slinger 2.0

Firearm Ownership: 3 Things You Need To Know


4 Things to Be A Better Security Officer

Triple Aught Design: Fast Pack EDC

Bert Kreischer - The Russian Mafia Story

Law Enforcement Today

5 Things You Should Know Before Joining the Military

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"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." – President Franklin D. Roosevelt

It has been about 76 years since we, the United States, were attacked by enemy forces from Japan. Since then, it was approximately 60 years since we were attacked on our own soil.

I was born in September of 1990. When the attack on the Twin Towers and then the Pentagon happened on September 11th, 2001, I was 10 years old about to turn 11. I remember waking up that day to my mom shaking me. She told me what had happened. I found out after getting dressed for the day that a third plane had crashed into the pentagon. I remember my mom was trying to hold it together the best she could because my brothers and I were young and still needed her to be “mom”.

I still went to school. I was in 5th grade. That day there were quite a few kids missing from class. I believe there was only about half of us in class that day. We spent the day watching the news. Very little classwork was done. I was old enough to understand that what had happened was a tragedy. I was not old enough to understand the impact that it would have or how long it would last.

“This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.” – President George W. Bush, Remarks on the September 11th attacks.

My Uncle was still in the military at the time this happened. I had always wanted to join the military since I was a kid in 2nd grade. I wanted to be like him. I know this was a huge movement that had many of our young men and women enlist in our military to go fight our attackers. I wasn’t old enough at the time to do so. I wouldn’t be old enough for eight more years. In those eight years, my position never changed. However, the service that I wanted to join did. Eight years later, I still wanted to go over, kick ass, and take names. I wanted to go find Osama Bin Laden for my country.

Fast forward to May of 2011. I was in the Platoon Leadership Course (PLC) program in college. The semester was ending and it ended up being my last semester. Osama Bin Laden was located and killed by SEAL Team Six. It was all over the news. President Obama was accredited with the elimination of Osama Bin Laden as it happened in his term of office. I still wanted to enlist as, 10 years later, we were still at war. I wanted to be a part of it. So, I enlisted in the Marine Corps. I signed my enlistment papers July 11th, 2011. I went to boot camp in January of 2012. I graduated boot camp April of 2012, and I was so motivated to be deployed that I couldn’t wait to get to my unit. I went through Marine Combat Training (MCT). There we learned the same tactics used while being deployed to fight in an urban environment. We learned many other things as well. That got me even more amped up. After MCT was Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) School. That is where I learned how to be a fueler. I got to my unit in Arizona in July of 2012.

Now, in 2017, I’m almost out of the Marine Corps. Looking back, the whole event seems surreal. Now the attacks on September 11th, are in history books. Kids now are learning about an event from a history book that I was alive in and helped secure my position on joining the military. It’s definitely been a long journey since then, and now look back on how it helped shape my path through life and the choices I’ve made.

This last weekend, for many, was a day spent relaxing over a three-day weekend thanks to Labor Day. I, however, spent my time mostly working through the weekend with getting a day off on Sunday. Throughout the month of August, I had a total of five days off, and two of those days off were spent on base doing my mandatory weekend for the military. This was my first day off in about two weeks so you can only imagine how excited I was to relax.

About a week and a half to two weeks before this last weekend, Oregon was the main topic of my girlfriend Breona’s discussion. She was super excited and couldn’t wait to spend time with her mom there as a small reward for doing well in school and her internship to be a Medical Assistant or MA. Come Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, she texted me saying you’re coming over on Thursday right? This is after she asked me to house sit for her so someone was there to watch her dog. I had totally spaced the fact that she was leaving on Thursday. I felt like a ditz, as I knew she was leaving but the synapses in my brain didn’t connect the two together.  I made sure to pack my bag Thursday night to stay for the four nights she was going to be gone. On Thursday, after work, I went over to her house to take care of Kota, the dog.

Upon arrival, I found two sheets of paper with instructions for taking care of her cat Riley (who is for the most part is self-sustaining) and her dog Kota (a rambunctious mix breed from a rescue). I also found a note on the fridge saying that I can eat anything in the freezer and fridge. I opened the freezer and found a note that said you can eat anything in here except her ice cream. I found that funny and laughed to myself about it. That night was a fairly easy night that I spent relaxing after work watching Prison Break and taking care of mostly Kota, as Riley was very easy. For him, all I had to do is make sure his food bowl had food and the water dispenser had water in it.

I went to bed and got up the next morning at my normal time. I made sure Kota had eaten and gone outside to potty. I put her in her kennel and went to work. When I came back after work, Kota had a major accident. I had taken a photo and sent it to Breona and then gave her a call. I had to rinse off the plastic liner and everything but could not get the stain out as the “accident” had soaked in. I won’t show the photo as it was pretty bad. I at least got the smell to go away. I relaxed a bit before heading to bed. I was pretty done with the day as I had not had a day off in two weeks and could not wait until Sunday, but I had a 12 hour day separating me from my much needed time off so I went to bed so as to be ready for it.

Saturday, was spent mainly at work. I had a 12-hour shift and the time seemed to stand still. The only benefit of working security is that sometimes to fill the void; you can throw on a video, movie, or show from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, or any of the other streaming services. When you need to do a patrol or respond to something, just pause it and take care of it. By Saturday, I was missing Breona like crazy. Normally, we have a routine that allows us to not go more than two days without spending time together. It didn’t help that I was receiving photos and videos via text and iPhoto shared album. I really wish I could have gone, as I haven’t had a vacation in a really really long time. I left work at midnight and headed back to Breona’s. I fed Kota and let her go potty before going to bed.

Sunday was finally here!!! I could not wait for it all week, and now my day off had finally come. I mainly spent my time off watching Prison Break and movies from Breona’s collection. I was missing Breona more than ever, but I was able to relax and distracted myself. I played with Kota and decided I was going to have some pizza for dinner. I went to bed somewhat early as I was tired from the 12-hour shift the day before and I still had to be up early to work the morning shift on Monday.

Monday was an easy day. I got paid time and a half, which made working it that much easier to handle the day-to-day stuff. Due to it being a holiday, I really didn’t have much to do as hardly anybody came through my site compared to normal days. I was super excited that Breona was coming home that day too! After work, I went back to Breona’s and she was home! We had dinner and hung out watching movies on the couch. It was awesome!

I still didn’t eat a whole lot from her fridge as I didn’t help pay for the food, and that kind of ticked Breona off a bit as she doesn’t like me eating out when she has some food there. She didn’t want it to go bad and I get it, but I really only ate the stuff that would go bad and that I liked, like the strawberries.  I found it pretty funny as she made me promise before she left that I would eat her food, and I laughed as she didn’t specify how much or what things to eat.

So today I wanted to tell you about the Javelin backpack. I have had it for a while now and I can say that it isn’t a bad backpack. It’s perfect for an EDC (Every Day Carry). It’s a good minimalist day pack used mainly as a commuter or a tactical office bag. So today I wanted to tell you about the Javelin backpack. I have had it for a while now and I can say that it isn’t a bad backpack. It’s perfect for an EDC (Every Day Carry). It’s a good minimalist day pack used mainly as a commuter or a tactical office bag. 

The Javelin is a sling style pack that goes over a shoulder and has a cross body strap that helps secure the pack in place. 

The front panel has MOLLE webbing on it and some of the MOLLE webbing has velcro to attach a name patch or a morale patch to it. Behind those is a pocket with a vertical zipper. It’s not that bad of a pocket and will fit small items like pens, note pads, index cards, etc.

The whole front panel is also a pocket that has some small organizational pockets and can carry a few more items than the front vertical pocket. Above that pouch is a smaller one great for storing sunglasses or maybe a gerber with a lighter and a couple of other smaller items. 

The Main Compartment

Alright, so here is the main compartment. You can store larger items in here but not too big. It will hold a 12-13 inch laptop and maybe some other flat items like a notebook or a light jacket. It does come with a divider.

On the flap part there are 3 pockets, 2 larger pockets and a smaller pocket. On the panel that is on the back side also has a flap to store a laptop or tablet and keep it secure. 


There is a small hydration pocket on the part that is on your back. It is large enough to store a 3 liter bladder.

Side Pocket

On the side, there is another pocket that has more organizationally optimized storage. Pen sleeves, and other small ladder style pockets will help you organize your administrative gear. 


Overall I would give this bag a 7 out of 10. The bag is made of some high quality material and has some pretty cool features. The stand alone hydration pocket is great for keeping your other gear dry and allowing your bladder to not be punctured by your gear. The downside is the bag is pretty small. Yet with the nature of the bag, you can easily swing this bag infant of you to get to your gear without taking the bag off. 

Check out my review video below!

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.- 2nd Ammendment, U.S. Constitution

Whether you live in Arizona or not, some of the things I will go over today should help you as a gun owner. I just happen to live in Arizona where the topics below specifically apply. Some of the laws are the same if not similar in nature to other states; unless you live in California, New York, or Chicago.

First and foremost, the most important thing that EVERY gun owner should know is weapon safety. Whether you own a rifle, a handgun, or a rocket launcher; these weapon safety rules will apply. A good ditty or way to remember them by is Treat, Never, Keep, Keep.

  1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
  2. Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  4. Keep you weapon on safe until you intend to fire.
  5. Know your target and what lies behind it.

Those are the safety rules the Marine Corps specifically uses, although the 5th one is spoken and not written down. Every branch either uses those or has a similar version when teaching a firearms course. It is imperative to know and implement those rules as a gun owner.

It is important when owning a gun to be proficient at shooting. What would be the point in owning a gun if you couldn’t even hit the broad side of a barn when shooting it? Being a proficient shooter does take some athleticism. Not the same kind as for other sports like football or wrestling, but athleticism nonetheless. The ability to draw your weapon, align the sights, smooth but quick pull of the trigger, and accuracy are all things that a good shooter is proficient in. The only way to get better in those skills to practice, practice, practice. Even professionals in sports practice before games.

Keanu Reeves - Training for John Wick

There are many ways to practice getting better; you can go and pay for a class, research techniques and try them out, or go with friends that know the fundamentals and can teach you. You can also do just target practice, moving drills, speed reloading drills, scenario drills, etc.

This section is super important, however, not as important as the first two! The reason I say that is because weapon safety for gun owners is hands down the most important. If you own a gun in your house and you happen to live alone, the rules apply for your own safety. If there are others in the house, they should know the rules as well as they will be around the dangerous tool. If you have children, they also need to know the safety rules; however, it would also be a safe practice to keep your guns in a gun safe. The reason proficiency is more important than knowing gun laws is because you can have safe gun practices down and know the laws, but if you have an intruder in your home, that doesn’t matter if you miss when you do shoot. That goes back to the know your target and what lies behind it. If you miss, and you happen to live in an apartment, the bullet can go through the wall and into someone else.

There are some laws regarding guns that are pretty much universal. For example, it is illegal to walk into a bar with a gun. The reason for that law is that a loaded gun in the hands of an impaired individual is a bad mix. It is very similar to drinking and driving. You could end up in a bar fight and if you are impaired, your judgement might be to pull your gun and start shooting. Another scenario, for those who might be a designated driver, is that you may not pull the weapon but in the middle of the fight the gun is taken from you and is now in the hands of an impaired individual. That more than likely wouldn’t happen if they were stumbling around drunk, but it can happen, more so if the individual only had 2 or 3 shots, beers, whatever.

Arizona, specifically, no longer requires a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit. In Arizona, you are not able to register your firearm; “The State of Arizona does not require citizens to register their firearms with the State. It also prohibits local jurisdictions (i.e. Counties, Cities or Towns) from requiring licensing or registration of firearms or ammunition. See ARS 13-3108.”

There are many laws regarding gun ownership and use. I highly recommend anyone who wants to get a gun, take a CCW course. A good course should be 16 hours. I have seen some on Groupon ™ that say $29 for a four-hour CCW course. That should only be for a renewal or re-familiarization or for anyone moving to Arizona and want to get an Arizona CCW that had one from another state. The CCW course should go over some laws, maybe a few scenarios, and a firearms qualification. Hint: If you go through an Armed Security Training course in Arizona, download the CCW packet and fill it out. Your instructor should be able to sign off on the 16 hour Armed Security course for the CCW application and mail it to DPS with the appropriate documentation i.e. fingerprints and money order. Kill two birds with one stone.

Lastly, if you want to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state, google (your state) revised statutes. For my fellow Arizonians, check out our ARS Title 13, Chapter 4. You can also check out this PDF from the Phoenix website that has a brief FAQ.

Credits and References

So 2 years ago around this time, I started working armed security for my current contract. I had a small idea of what to expect as I heard about the contract through my supervisor on a different contract. I was told about how there are sites on this contract that you get to see some action and you actually get to do stuff instead of being a glorified receptionist like that contract was. I was excited and a little nervous to start this new endeavor, as I had never dealt with people in that capacity before.

First Month…

When I first started, I worked at the courts. I met some awesome co-workers as well as met some of the city staff who were really nice. I was super excited to get to wear my duty belt, which had most of the things Police carry. I had my gun with extra rounds, handcuffs, pepper spray and a Police radio. Now to preface this story, I only had military experience and no experience whatsoever in Law Enforcement or Department of Corrections. All previous contracts I had worked all said that if I left my post for any reason I would be fired. So the courts were almost at closing time, and I received a call from a courtroom from a Judge saying that a man, insert description, was leaving the court house and I needed to stop him. While getting off the phone, I saw the man already halfway out the courthouse. I panicked and looked at my co-worker who didn’t really know what was going on, as he hadn’t heard the phone call. I quickly tell him the situation and the guy was already out the door. I quickly get on the radio and request Dispatch to send units to assist and provide the description. There was another site on the contract that is right next door to the courthouse and the Security Officer at that site heard the call and started searching the transit center. We could not locate this guy.


A few months down the road, I am now working at a community center. This site has more of the homeless population than most of the other sites. I actually tried to help some of the ones I could and provided all the information I could to help them out and possibly get them into some housing. I probably spoke to about 35-40 separate individuals.  I heard a lot of their stories of how they became homeless, some of the stuff they do for money, what some of their goals were. Some people would say it is a humbling experience.

Change in Perspective…

I honestly can’t believe how much this contract has changed me. It has changed my outlook on people, life, and has given me valuable experiences that I have used to build some good habits.

Have you ever heard that over time cops become sociopathic and the difference between cops and criminals is that cops don’t act on their urges? Working in this line of work, I can relate to that and understand why and how Police Officers can become desensitized to various aspects of the job. I myself, whether it’s good or bad, have become more desensitized to aspects of the job. Out of the 35-40 people I spoke with, only 2 actually took my help and got themselves into housing. I have very little empathy for a lot of the homeless population after having spoken to many more since then and can tell when the person is just smiling and nodding and when they are actually looking for help. My high school coach once taught me, if it hurts more to suffer than to change, you’ll change. In many of these cases, it seems to be true.

Change in experience…

I have been on this contract for two years now. I can say that I have learned a ton of information and picked up many good habits. I have learned how to have a tactical mindset as my contract allows me to work closely with the Police. That mindset helped me develop those good habits like watching hands when dealing with someone, if someone is sleeping and I have to wake them up approach from their feet so I would possibly get kicked instead of stabbed if they are hiding knives or scissors, positioning myself to where it is more difficult to be approached from behind and if I have to leave my back exposed I will have to rely more on my situational awareness. I have become more proficient in my communication as well as more articulate in my justifications to my decision making. I have developed my decision-making skills to be better than when I first started.

If I were in the same situation now as I was in my story of my first month, I would have done things differently. I would have ran after him and tackled him to the ground. If I was unable to catch him, I would have been able to relay to Dispatch that I was in pursuit of a person a judge ordered to detain and articulate why I left my post (because there was at least one Security Officer there). Then I would have been able to better provide direction of travel as well.

Overall Experience…

I am so thankful that I have been able to work on the contract I am on now. I have gained so much more good than I have bad. I have used this experience to better myself on my military side as well as implemented things from the military onto this job and overall have become a better person for it. When I train new Security Officers, I do my best to instill in them the need to develop their situational awareness as well as their tactical mindsets because it will help them do this job better as well as help them in their future endeavors.

Security is a job that most of the time people get into either because they are retired Law Enforcement or they are trying to get into Law Enforcement. Very few make it a career because let’s face it, the pay isn’t very much on most of the contracts that each Security Company has. So if you are looking to get into Law Enforcement, this is for you.


Being observant is a key part in security. Not only will it help you do your duties as a Security Officer but it can also save your life. Noticing what people are doing will help you catch people not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. When you catch someone doing something they aren’t supposed to be doing, if it warrants police involvement, look for clothing identifiers. Particularly look at the shoes. Most people think to change their appearance by changing shirts, maybe their pants or shorts but most people forget to change their shoes. Look for tattoos, scars, birthmarks, anything to help positively identify the individual when the police get there. Also it will help in report writing in case you have to go to court as a witness. The military helped me develop my observation skills and my current security contract helped me hone my skills. Here’s an article to help you learn about it. Its the same as what I learned in the military.


Tactical Mindset

Having a tactical mindset isn’t about strategizing warfare maneuvers. It’s about building habits that make you more aware and giving yourself a way out of a bad situation. Have you ever wondered why 95% of the time when you see a Police vehicle parked, it’s normally backed into a spot? When cops go out to eat, especially in uniform, they always have their backs to a wall and positioned in a spot to provide them the best visibility of the area? Those are habits built to protect them and others. When I am in uniform and I have to stop to go to the restroom, I never go into a public restroom and use the urinals. I go into a stall to urinate. If I have to go for an extended period, where my duty belt would have to come off, I find a private bathroom where no one can reach under the stall doors to grab my duty belt with my weapon and radio. When I approach a situation, I look at body language, listen for verbal cues, watch hands instead of eyes; all providing me valuable information on how to deal with the situation whether it is to calm a person down or go hands on. When you get good enough at being able to communicate with people you can usually calm them down to not have to go hands on.

Quick story, I had a lady who was threatening two patrons with a knife. I approached the lady and directed her to put the knife down. She didn’t want to listen to me. I told her again. This time I showed her I was serious by placing my hand on my taser and getting it ready to draw. Luckily for both of us, she dropped the knife. Now, I would have been justified in the court of law to use my gun. I also could have used other tools like pepper spray. So why would I choose a taser? Well, I didn’t want to have to go lethal if I could help it. I figured I would much rather use another tool or go hands on first before going lethal as it was only a knife and I’m a decent sized guy who could have wrestled the knife away if I had to. I decided pepper spray would have been a BAD idea, however. Using pepper spray would have probably blinded her, yes, however then I would have a more erratic person with a deadly weapon swinging wildly at anyone and everyone instead of her targets being focused to the two patrons and me. So I went for the taser as my option if I was going to use anything. Like I said, luckily I didn’t have to use it. But that is a good way to think about things.

When interacting with people, it is very important to remain calm and collected. If people perceive you as a person in charge, most of the time they will act accordingly. If they don’t the situation can get out of hand quickly.

While interacting with people, I have found it best to be as direct as possible. When I go to work, I get myself in the mindset that my nearest back up is possibly a half hour away. When you think like that, you kind of have to put on a face that is strict, fair, and consistent.

One time I found an open container of beer on the site I happened to be. I threw the open container away along with the other food that was right there. About an hour later, I was approached by an individual who asked me if someone threw his lunch away. I told him I did because of the open container of alcohol. He called me an asshole and started going off on me about how inconsiderate I was and how he was homeless and how he didn’t have the money to buy more food, etc. etc. The entire time, his voice kept getting louder and louder. I cut him off and started explaining to him the policies of the site we were on and the law that he had broken. He did not want to hear it. So I told him that he basically just confessed to drinking in public, and on my property by claiming the food that I had thrown away. I also went on to explain that because of the policies and the law that he had broke, he was lucky I wasn’t trespassing him from the site, I also explained that afterwards, he became disorderly and was disturbing the peace by the way he was talking to me. I told him if he refused to calm down and behave, I would call the police and press charges on trespassing, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, and the drinking in public. After that the guy called me an asshole again then took off.

I took charge of the situation while at the same time being fair and consistent while providing opportunities for the person to walk away without having to call for Police. Part of the security job is to handle situations on site that can be handled without involving Police. That allows Police to not have to come deal with some petty crap that can easily be handled by Security. If it is outside of my realm of duties and responsibilities, of course I would call the Police. For example if the guy tried to fight me, I would have handled that accordingly and once the person was restrained, called the Police.

Report Writing

Report writing is huge in any sort of Law Enforcement field. Using your observation, and your tactical mindset as well as having a good composure when dealing with patrons will make it very easy to write a report. You’ll have everything you need to write a good report that could potentially be used in court. Remember, do your best to be as articulate as possible.  Being articulate in your report writing, the ability to be able to say what you did and why in a well-written way, will also help you when interacting with people as well. It will carry over and being able to tell someone why they can’t drink alcohol in public or why they need to leave your property is a skill well worth having especially if you are looking to get into Law Enforcement i.e. Police or another Agency.

Be as detailed as you can. That will help in being a good witness when things happen and Police become involved in an incident on your site. Looking for things that stand out will help aid in prosecution when you are able to give a description that is specific from head to toe including shoes, tattoos, and scars.

Remember, Security is not about being the Police. Yes, do your best to help mitigate the Police call volume, but be a better witness than an involved party if you can. Police have much better training.

So today I want to talk about a pack that I found a while ago. It’s called the Fast Pack EDC by Triple Aught Design. This pack is awesome! I actually really want it, I just don’t have the dough to fork over for it right now.

So the pack looks like this

This is the Coyote Brown model. The Coyote model is currently out of stock, however in an email today, TAD did email me saying that they expect to have more in that color in December of 2017. They have multiple color variations as well as a smaller version called the Fast Pack Litespeed. Now, one of the things that draws me to this pack is how modular it is. There are so many ways to customize it to suit your need or the mission. There are two parts to the pack. There is the main pack itself, and the tail flap. The pack itself has a velcro panel on the front and underneath that panel is a MOLLE webbing system used to attach accessories. When the tail flap is attached, there is also MOLLE webbing on the outside of that flap.

The main pack has two side compartments, an admin pouch, a dry bag compartment, and paracord lacing system on top with strap attachment system on the bottom. To show you how modular this pack really is, here is a picture.

Triple Aught Design (TAD) really has some innovative features on this pack which makes it stand out from it’s competition. The paracord lacing system on the top can be used to attach a sleeping system as shown in the picture above.  The bottom straps can be used to attach a sleeping mat.

The removable tail flap can be removed or used to store a kevlar helmet; or if you unbuckle the top two buckles, you can let it hang, insert a rifle, and use compression straps to attach the top part of the rifle.

The side compartments on the bottom both have what TAD calls flashlight caves. They are almost as deep as the side compartments and allows you to hide flashlights or whatever else you want with easy access to it while being carried. Inside the flashlight caves are D rings to attach a lanyard to a flashlight for retention purposes.

As I don't have this pack yet, I haven't done a review on it. However I will attach a link towards the bottom of this post. I highly recommend you check out Triple Aught Design and see what else you might like.

Check out my Pinterest Pages here!!

If you want to check out a review on the pack check out the video from Ian "Primal" Talbert over at

If you want to buy the pack, check out Triple Aught Design! 


All credits go to Bert Kreischer who is the original creator and the original poster on YouTube. Thanks to YouTube for allowing the content to be posted. 

There are so many changes that are taking place within the United States today. Part of which, that I want to talk about is the view on Law Enforcement. This really is not just cops as there are many different branches of Law Enforcement. You have Security Officers, Peace Officers (or cops), Correctional Officers, and more at the Federal level.
I work as an armed Security Officer. My duty belt has all of the tools that Police Officers carry. Due to my contract being tied into a Police Department, I also get to carry a Police Radio. I have many duties and some of the shared responsibilities as Police have, just without the authority. I know that with all of that, the shift of the views toward Law Enforcement is negative. I would hope that it is due to the lack of education in the United States as the main reason. That would be changeable. The video below is to show you what it is like to be a Police Officer.


When you’re in the line of work where you carry a gun for a living, you really need to have a specific mindset. Almost all of us have someone that loves us and wants to see us again. In order to stay alive, you need to act and think a certain way. It’s called a Tactical Mindset. Military members, Law Enforcement, even Fire Fighters have to have this mindset to live another day. People may not want to see Law Enforcement continue to carry firearms. I have had debates where the argument has been “If you feel afraid for your life when dealing with a person who is unarmed, you shouldn’t be carrying a gun.”

A Story…

One night, I was working when I had a young man sleeping. I went to wake him up and was received pretty well. I went to resume my normal duties of securing an area for cleaning when the same individual tried to enter to get a drink of water. I told him he was not allowed to and that he could get a drink from the fountains outside. The individual proceeded to become more belligerent. He even said, “What are you going to do about it?” I followed him to ensure he left the property when I asked him to. Then after 3 attempts to keep him off the property, he starts charging at me with closed fists from across the street. My first thought was “does he have a knife?” My second thought was “I’m about to get stabbed”.
See it’s the fear of the unknown that causes Officers to shoot unarmed citizens. I ended up not shooting him, however I would have been justified in court. Does that really matter? Not really when you’re talking about taking a life. The situation never should have gotten that far. The disrespect and conduct that the individual had, whether towards an armed Security Officer or actual Police Officer, is what would have caused that potential deadly force situation to occur. That is how we have the videos on the news that further magnifies the Law Enforcement community as a whole. Just like this video below…

See videos like the one above get circulated and the media goes crazy over it, further perpetuating the hate towards Law Enforcement. The video above shows an Officer who ended up fighting for his life after confronting Mark Adair while he was becoming confrontational with some women in a parking garage. Mr. Adair decided to draw a large caliber hand gun that was later found to be an air pistol, fight the Officer to try and take the Officer’s weapon, and caused the Officer to believe his life was on the line. That resulted in the Officer shooting Mr. Adair.

Take Away Their Guns!

I have been told before that If you feel afraid for your life when dealing with a person who is unarmed, you shouldn’t be carrying a gun. I have also been told that in today’s society, we are moving closer to taking away everyone’s firearms. Is that really the solution? Should we take away the firearms of the general public? Take away firearms from Police Officers? Let me counter those questions with, what would that really solve? Let’s go down a scenario. If we took away firearms from Law Enforcement Officers, then the next time they get into a situation where they pull a vehicle over for speeding, they don’t have anything to defend themselves with if the driver points a gun out the window and starts shooting. What about in hostage situations? The Officers would have no means to take the situation by force if necessary as a last resort. SO MANY PEOPLE hate cops. There are websites, Facebook pages, and other media outlets dedicated to perpetuating the hate towards Law Enforcement and they like to sound educated and argue with cops, etc. They forget that the same cops they perpetuate hate towards are the first to be there when one of their children gets kidnapped, or when shots are being fired at the protesters the Police at the Police Protest rally were the first to shield the protesters with their own bodies.
On another note, just because the firearms are taken away from the “good guys” does not mean that the “bad guys” will follow the rules. That is what criminals do, break the law. Now you just disarmed the group of people who are trying to protect you and everyone else. There is a reason the armed crime rate is so high in all the cities with the strictest gun control laws. In Arizona and Texas, the armed crime rate, especially on person vs. person is relatively low. Out of 933 deaths relating to anything with a firearm, including suicide, homicide, and accidental shootings; only 271 were homicides committed with a firearm. That is from a statistic from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010 in Arizona.

How Can We Fix Things?

I personally believe that the first step to fixing things is education. I don’t mean education only from school, although that has a part to play in it. The sad part is, most children nowadays grow up without having to really respect authority. That includes parents, teachers, and anyone else in a position of authority. I see kids all the time throwing tantrums in stores, restaurants, and other public places. That has a part to do with the respect part. If we could teach children how to think for themselves instead of memorize and regurgitate, that would help immensely as well. As far as the gun part goes, instead of taking away firearms (especially from trained professionals), require anyone wanting to own a firearm take a class on firearm safety. I recommend anyone who wants to own a gun, take a Concealed Carry Weapon course as that not only covers gun safety, but also covers a few of the legalities associated wit firearm usage. If we were to do those things, it would not only have a greater impact on society as a whole, but also in regards to Law Enforcement as a whole.

Below is a funny video showing how the duties of being a Police Officer can affect a person in the long term. Due to the nature of what they see in the course of their careers, they become jaded or desensitized and end up doing things in what seems to be a harsh manor.

Recruiters are not allowed to lie.

If you are serious about joining the U.S. military, talk to a recruiter. That is the first step to get everything rolling. Just be smart about how you do things and be cautious. Recruiters are not allowed to straight out lie to you but nothing says that can’t omit details or embellish things. When I was talking to a recruiter, I wasn’t lied to. I just didn’t know the questions to ask when I talked to the recruiter. For example, does everything (food, uniforms, gear, hygiene items) come out of your paycheck when you’re in boot camp? If you go Reserves, do you still get free medical, dental, and vision? Is the G.I. Bill the same for Active Duty and Reserves? What happens if I fail a portion of training in boot camp, combat training, or MOS school?

Get everything in writing.

In order to fly you need to be an Officer. Both Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers can both fly. Warrant Officers cannot fly fixed wing aircraft (planes) but Commissioned Officers can fly both fixed wing and rotary (helicopters).The Marine Corps does not have a medical field. Being a Marine myself, I know we rely on the Navy to take care of that role. We have Corpsmen. They actually have to go through Navy boot camp and a more expedient version of Marine Corps boot camp.

There is Active Duty and Reserves. If you choose to do Active Duty, you have more opportunities to choose from (based off the needs of what branch you choose and your performance). If you go Reserves, you are limited to whatever the Duty Stations have to offer but you should be able to choose the Duty Station in the state you enlist. Commissioned Officer is a whole other beast that I won’t go into right now. For example, I live in Arizona. I had the option to go to Tucson or stay in Phoenix. I chose Phoenix as it was closer and it just so happened that both Duty Stations had exactly the same MOSs to choose from.

If you are promised a bonus, make sure to get it in writing in your contract.

Lastly, I mentioned that some things are based upon performance. What I am talking about is the ASVAB test (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) given to every recruit, boot camp, combat training, and MOS school. Your ASVAB score will determine what MOSs you’ll be able to get. If you fail a portion of training in any part whether it is boot camp, combat training, or MOS school; you are now in breach of contract. The branch you chose could end up making your new MOS anything they want or are in need of.

Be physically fit.

Physical fitness is one of the standards that every branch has. No matter if it’s the Coast Guard, the Navy, the Air Force, the Army, or the Marine Corps. Every branch has a standard for physical fitness. I know the Marine Corps the best as that is the branch that I chose, so my examples will be from those standards. There are four physical fitness standards in the Marine Corps. There is the PFT (Physical Fitness Test), the CFT (Combat Fitness Test), a Swim Qualification and the Height and Weight standards. Other branches have their own version of the PFT but for the most part, the Height and Weight Standards are pretty much universal. For the Marine Corps, the PFT consists of Pull-ups, Crunches, and a 3-mile run. To max out your score, depending on your age, you need approximately 20 Pull-ups, 105 Crunches, and an 18-minute 3-mile run time.

The CFT consist of an 880-yard sprint in boots and camouflage pants, ammo can lifts, and what is called the Maneuver Under Fire drill. The Maneuver Under Fire drill is a suicide drill from football or basketball on steroids. For more information on both the PFT and CFT visit:

The Height and Weight standards are there to ensure that you have not been slacking. Think about it. Would you want to go into a firefight where you possibly might get injured and your battle buddy can’t drag you out of harm’s way? That is the reason the Military is really the only organization in America that can discriminate on a person’s height and weight, as there is a pretty good reason for it. For more information on the Height and Weight standards visit:

If you can pass the Marine Corps PFT, CFT, and the Height and Weight standards, you should have no problem joining any branch you choose.

Document everything.

Any time you are injured on Duty, go to Medical to get checked out and have it documented. When I was in boot camp, I had pneumonia twice and I had my knees kicked backwards. I had to go to Medical for the pneumonia both times as I could not perform at all in boot camp. I was written a Light Duty chit (note) and got to have a day off to recover with medicine. For my knees, I told my Senior Drill Instructor and I did not go to Medical. He himself put me on Light Duty due to the way that it happened and it wasn’t documented. When I got to my Duty Station, I made sure to document it with the Corpsmen there.

The reason I highly suggest documenting everything is for the fact that upon getting released from duty, you can file your claims with the VA office (Veteran Affairs). If it is not documented the VA will not cover it.

Embrace the suck.

Military wide, they have many crappy extra duties that just suck. It’s plain and simple and there isn’t any escaping it unless you reach a high enough rank. You have firewatch, hurry up to wait, working parties, Duty, etc.

Firewatch came from the inherent danger of warfare where there is a possibility of being attacked at night while everyone is asleep. In theory, it makes complete and total sense to have people on duty at night watching over Marines, Soldiers, Seamen, and Airmen while they sleep. In boot camp, I have stood many firewatch posts. It gives one time to think about things and go into in depth analyzations.  When you realize that you are awake while everyone is asleep, on a base that is guarded by MPs (Military Police), in California, which is in the continental United States…  Firewatch seems kind of pointless and just a way for your Drill Instructors or your squad leader to mess with you and your sleep. Don’t be discouraged though. It’s training for when you are actually in a combat zone.

Another thing that can really suck are working parties. Working parties (a group of Soldiers, Marines, Seamen, etc.) are snatched up to do miscellaneous tasks. A few weeks ago, I was in 29 Palms, California for training and I was snatched up into a working party to separate trash. Yes, you read that right. We had to go through about 3 weeks’ worth of trash to separate out the cardboard, plastics, Aluminum, general trash, and MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) heaters. It doesn’t sound that bad until you open a bag and smell the opened MRE food trash that has been sitting in the heat.

Hurry up to wait is prevalent in the military from day one. Drill Instructors hurrying to get the entire platoon to Medical or Dental or whatever place we needed to be just to stand by waiting for hours on end. I have spent at least 25% of my career waiting. That comes from the leadership not wanting to look bad by having others wait on them. I have stood in many formations, many times for 2 or more hours waiting to be told I can go home. If you do join, you’ll inevitably hear the phrase, “15 minutes prior to 15 minutes prior.”  If you don’t, you’re wrong.

I know I sound like a disgruntled enlisted Marine, I’m not gonna lie I actually am, but don’t let any of that discourage you. If you dreamt of enlisting or commissioning into the military then this is more of a heads up. Use this to better guide you to make the military work for you. If any of this discourages you, you probably shouldn’t join the military. It just isn’t for you, that’s all. My reasons for being disgruntled have nothing to do with working parties, firewatch, or standing by for no real reason. I am proud to have served and will continue to do so until January when I get out. I love being a Marine. I just hope to educate the future generations that will precede me.


Thanks to YouTube for allowing me to find these videos. Also I would like to thank Public Domain TV for the PFT video, Melvin Rodriguez for the CFT video, Conrad Stodgell for the Momma Dog video, Maximilian Uriarte over at for the POST video, and last but not least Alkohol2011 for uploading Tyler Satterfield’s EAS Song.