The Four Pillars for Individual Combat Effectiveness

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The attack on the mentally handicapped kid by the beasts of Chicago isn’t a single, isolated event. There are forces desperately trying to foment a civil war and crash the USA. I’m not going to speculate on who, or why, or what they hope to gain in this article.
battleInstead, I’m going to talk about some of the things we can do to prepare. Our individual actions will have little, if any, bearing on the grand sweep of history. N.B. I AM NOT AN EXPERT. I OFFER NO GUARANTEES. YOU ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY SHOULD YOU FOLLOW ME IN THIS FOOL’S ERRAND. THIS IS DANGEROUS AND EVEN IN THE BEST OF CONDITIONS DEATH IS POSSIBLE.
The blogger that goes by the nom de guerre of John Mosby identified four pillars for individual combat effectiveness: “Physical Conditioning, Marksmanship, Trauma medicine, and Battle Skills/Drills”.
I’m just going to touch on each point in this article.

  1. Physical Conditioning. Beast Life. If you aren’t reading the Beast Life articles, start there. As Men of the West, we should be working towards our own physical peak. In other words, get off the couch and get in shape to the best of your abilities. Reality doesn’t care about your excuses. You can’t B.S. cold iron to move.
  2. Marksmanship. I’m going to start with the basics. You should know how basic firearms work, period. Better still, you should own at least one firearm. Better still again, you should know how each of your firearms works to the point you can fieldstrip them without a manual and do maintenance on them. You need to be getting to the range enough to become at least an average shot. This is the lowest bar. If you aren’t there, now’s the time to put your feet on that path and start down it.
  3. Trauma medicine. Basic field first aid. Shock, extreme heat or cold, dehydration, fainting, basic wound care, how to make a splint. Everything you can learn from the Boy Scouts. Then add in what to do with a sucking chest wound, how to use a tourniquet, how to stabilize someone in the field. Watch this video of Sergeant McCool getting shot without a medic around (WARNING: Not for the squemish): Things go sideways, fast, and without warning. You aren’t going to rise to the occasion, you are going to fall back on your training. So get trained.
  4. Battle Skills/Drills. The focus here is on small-unit tactics, not a whole army. Bluntly put, do you and your team, whatever constitutes your team, have the chops to beat the OPFOR’s OODA loop? This is the hardest of all four pillars because it takes a team. The other three pillars you can do by yourself, on your own time, and barely get an eyebrow raised. That all changes with this one. You need a team you can rely on. You need the proper tactics and not a bunch of mall ninja nonsense. You need time and space to practice. People are going to ask questions. Some are going to assume you’re part of a militia and are gearing up to overthrow life as they know it. This isn’t easy. I’ll admit that this is my weakest area.

There are more things to know than just these four, of course, but these are the basic, critical pillars you need to understand to make sure you have a chance of keeping your hide free from getting extra holes punched through it.
Over the next year, expect more articles touching on each of the four pillars. I’m going to also bring up some fundamental principles that you will need, even if you never go beyond and into the four pillars. If you never have to use any of this, so much the better.
President Trump will give us breathing room to work on this, but even the Ascendancy of the God-Emperor cannot undo all the damage done over the past several decades. Now’s the time to start.


  1. My hand weapons are revolvers, don’t have to be field stripped and tolerate neglect.
    I still need to practice more often.

    • A really good thing about revovers (true of most firearms really) , is you can dry fire them a LOT. Takes little time, 10 min a day and works wonders on trigger control and sight alignment training. I knew a man who logged over a million dry fires on a S&W N frame revolver.

    • Problem with a revolver, as Col Cooper reminded us, is that if it breaks in the field, repairs are difficult to impossible. if it gets dirty perhaps by crossing a fast-moving and muddy river, cleaning it in the field will require it be disassembled.
      Got skills?
      Got tools?
      That being said, I carry my Model 66 and Model 642 quite often…

  2. Learn Basic Life Support and CPR…get certified
    Learn how to use a tourniquet….
    Buy a few combat/military style tourniquets….
    Controlling hemorrhage is lifesaving and simple in concept…

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