29 March 2009

Start with the BASICS!!!

From the Soldier Side: Camp Desert-suck, Kuwait, Nov, 2004.
Being in the Army National Guard for a long time has had it's good times and it's bad. Regardless of what was happening to us, around us, and against us, I was with good troops who always did their best. As I've said in past postings, many of my worst adventures were due to really bad leaders.
Let me present a question to the general public, past and current military readers: If you were going to a war with a bunch of soldiers, what is one really important supply item you'd make sure everyone had?
How about ammo?
We were the redheaded step child. When our Guard unit arrived in Kuwait, to stage and train prior to going into Iraq, we were thinking that we were going to war with our home unit. After a short time in Kuwait, some of us were informed that we were being transferred to a Regular Army battalion. At first, we were a little upset. But I had been in the Regular Army many years before and my experience was that the Regular Army was pretty good. I'd soon find out that this was not true with all units. The unit we were given to was a bunch of REMFs. (My MOS is not combat arms anymore, but we are a type of team that does go out to do our work.) These Regular Army folks had no weapons skills, couldn't get a training convoy to the gas station and worst of all, they didn't order ammo for the National Guard troops that were attached to them.
A day before we were going to fly into Iraq, we still had no ammo. I mentioned this to my "chain of command" who didn't believe it. I pulled out my empty magazines for my M-16A2 and M-9 Pistol and showed they held no shiny brass and copper devices (friggen bullets).
Now, as my readers know, I've been a cop for 30 years. I've always made sure my weapons and tools were in 100% perfect condition. I'd never go out on a police patrol without ammo, and I work in a pretty safe area. But, the concept of going into Baghdad with no ammo, was starting to worry the heck out of me. The dumbass Regular Army Captain in charge of such things thought some of us "shooters" were overacting. I asked her if we could have her ammo, since she would likely not need it. She didn't like that and threatened me with UCMJ action, I asked what she thought a Inspector General Investigation would show. She left me alone (and she got a Bronze Star for her great work on the deployment.)
They did come up with about 30 rounds of 5.56 MM for our rifles and 5 rounds of 9MM for our pistols. That's what I took with me when we went on convoy into Fallujah. In Fallujah, we were attached to the Marines (1st MARDIV) where the Gunny, who was a cop in his civilian life, asked if my team needed anything. I asked: "do you have any spare ammo? If we're going out, I'd like to be able to shoot back." He opened up his storage area and said: "Help yourself."
I am an ammo pig. I loaded up a lot more than the basic load.
Even after all this time, I still have a hard time forgetting this. I am still so pissed off, I got ahold of Trophy Express and asked if they could make a coffee mug for me. One side has the 1st Marine Div patch, the other says: "I went to Iraq with the Army, but had to get ammo from the MARINES."
For leaders, don't forget the basics. Food, water, fuel and AMMO!

27 March 2009

Laid to Rest, 4 O.P.D.

From the Cop side: At work, one of the things I do is sit on the team that bargains for our contract. I've done this many times over 20 plus years. In some of the more recent sessions we've had, the "other side" has had an attorney on talking for management. He's a total jerk. There is nobody I know who likes the guy.
One day, when he was really trying to piss us off (I wouldn't let him get to me, never show your emotions when talking money)...anyway, he was just sitting across the table...showing his ugly Mr Potato Head face.
I looked at him and said: "You know, how were are judged...how people decide how good we were in life...how we figure how good a person was in life...is by how many people show up at their funeral service when they die....I mean how many show up because they want to show respect."
He looked like he was going to cry as he thought about this...
Today, in Oakland, CA they had a funeral service for the four officers who were murdered there last Saturday. Between 20,000 and 30,000 people showed up. That was at least 5,000 people per officer. I never knew them guys....but how many people will show up at the assholes service who shot them? I'm thinking 1 or 2.

24 March 2009

4 Dead in Oakland.....

From the Cop side: As many of my readers know (all 3 or 4 of you) I work as a cop in Northern California. 4 Police Officers were murdered in Oakland a few days ago...that's about 45 minutes from where I work. I have mixed emotions about this.
I've been warning newer cops that there's some changes in Police Work these days. One thing that is changing is: A lot of the bad guys are not just trying to run away, but they are attacking the cops. In many cases, the officers are injured and no longer able to stop the bad guy (dirt bag, POS, asshole, etc) but the bad guy takes a weapon and executes the cop. For years we just had to worry about getting into vehicle or foot pursuits. Now, we are facing an insurgency.
In the case in Oakland, CA, some of the info that is "Open Source" had come out about what happened. The dirtbag in this case had committed at least one rape (of a 12 year old girl) and had violated parole and other crimes. He was stopped and had at least one handgun in the vehicle with him. He shot, then executed the officers who stopped him. He fled to his residences, then up armed himself with an Assault Rifle (violation of CA law, Federal Law etc)...then ended up killing 2 more cops.
One question comes to mind... How many of his family or friends knew that he had firearms?
What I think the officers families should do is: Sue the asshole's family.
The pathetic part is: The asshole's family will probably sue Oakland PD for killing the asshole!
NO, turn it around. Somebody knew that the asshole had guns....find out who knew and sue them. If they have no money (likely on welfare) then cut off the public money and give it to the officer's families.
We Police Officers have to be professional and correct all the time, but our biggest fear in our jobs is doing our job, then getting sued. Let's turn this around. Sue the assholes...and their fa miles.
If we start suing every time we're wronged, then the assholes will eventually catch on. Now, the sad part is, we have to be careful about the funeral arrangements for these officers because the assholes may protest or attack. Kind of reminds me of my year in Iraq.

14 March 2009

That's a cute little paper weight....but...

From the Cop side: When I started out as a cop about 30 years ago, we were issued revolvers for our duty weapon. Even though they were .357 Magnums (Smith & Wesson Model 66 stainless steel), we were issued .38 special rounds. Now at the time, everyone thought the ammo, which was .38 +P+ was supposed to be really good stuff, some of us knew better.
I was a “gun guy” so I read a lot about the guns and ammo we used. I also did a lot of my own experiments with the ammo by shooting it into things to see how well it did. It was not really very good. So, how did law enforcement agencies all over the US get sucked into buying this crap by the case? The manufactures told them it was the best.

The problem then, as it is now, most of the Admin Pukes (APs) who decide what ammo to buy really have little background in firearms. They are usually not gun people. The smart APs now leave it to the range masters to pick the best ammo. (We have some really good stuff nowdays!)
But, it wasn’t just the ammo that was lacking. Our duty guns only held 6 rounds. In the stress of a critical situation that 6 rounds would go really fast. Then to reload, you had to push the cylinder release, tilt the pistol backwards and hit the ejection rod to knock out the empty cases. Now, you’re half way to reloading.
Then you had to reach into your spare ammo pouch. There were a few ways to put fresh ammo in the cylinder. You could take loose rounds and drop them into the holes. You could take a rubber “speed strip” and load 2 at a time. Or, you could take a “speed loader” and drop in 6 at a time. Then close the cylinder and start shooting again.
Sounds like a long time doesn’t it when you compare that to reloading a semi auto pistol now. Some of us could actually reload our revolvers in just a few seconds---during training. I never had to reload one under real stress of being shot at—but those I know who did said a real gun fight was a lot different than at the range. Some said they had 10 thumbs under stress.

Every now and then I see some AP who’s daily duty is riding a desk and moving paper (or now computer files) around in an effort to look like they are doing something. I saw one the other day wearing an ancient S&W Model 36. I had one of these one time. The only reason I ever bought one was because at the time we could only carry revolvers on or off duty. The Model 66 duty weapon was too big to pack off duty, so I bought the 5 shot Model 36. It was “cute.”

Now in 2009 we have lots of choices in what we may use on or off duty. Some departments limit by brand name and caliber. But, in about the same size and weight as that ancient Model 36, 38 special, I can carry a 10 shot .45 auto. Or, a 14 shot .380 auto. Heck, I could still slip my 1911 .45 full size auto into my waist band and still be better off than that little 5 shot paper weight.
Some people say size doesn’t matter. It does when it comes to a handgun you may have to use to defend yourself with. Sometimes just the sight of a big ass .45 will make some puke think really hard about whether or not he’s going to “make your day.”
(I’ve actually had a few pukes look at my .45 and say that they didn’t want to mess with someone carrying a .45. I’ll use that fear factor and go with it any day.)

In the 1980’s, a bunch of us range masters had to work really hard to get some of the police chiefs and sheriffs to let us start carrying semi autos. The old complaints were: “Oh, they jam too much. Oh, we’ve used revolvers as long as I’ve been a cop, so they must be good.” “ You’ll never carry an auto as long as I’m the boss.” “Revolvers work fine, why spend the money on a new gun?”
They were stuck in their ways. Some of them old bosses were really assholes about it. A few times we’d set up a range training event and have a revolver vs auto. The auto won every time. As the autos got better, the “jamming” problems went away. And we discovered a lot of the problems were user error. The officers didn’t clean the auto right, or didn’t lube it. I’ve seen some really dumbass cops with guns at the ranges.

Some range screw ups: Loading 9mm rounds into a .40 cal. Loading .40 cal rounds into a .45. Taking duty weapons apart at home and not putting together correctly. I mean taking out tools and removing parts that are not supposed to be removed---then showing up at the range and wondering why the pistol won’t fire. I’ve seen duty guns and ammo show up with ammo that was green with corrosion. Pistols that wouldn’t open without hitting with a mallet due to rust.
These were all guns that the cop or deputy carried on duty in their holsters.
By the time I retire, we should have ray guns or something.

09 March 2009

More "Stolen Valor" --Fakes!

From the Soldier side: I had to go "play Army" this weekend. I was pretty good training and I had a chance to spend more time with my troops and learn more about some of those that are new to the unit. The food still sucks, but what the heck.
I was able to sit and talk with some other Iraq Vets. It's funny, but in our line of work (mess kit repair) it seems no matter where you go, you'll run into somebody you know, or, when talking you find you both know some of the same people.
Sometimes this is a good chance to talk about somebody who was or is a good troop. However, sometimes we learn more about some of those who are total fakes. One of those, who I'll just call "F", had been on my team back just before Nine Eleven. He had some really good bullshit stories. How could I tell they were bullshit? Because they kept changing and he kept telling people things that I knew were impossible to have been true. He claimed to have been a Navy SEAL.
This guy was a "Buck Sergeant" E-5. In the Army, you can wear your awards from other branches, but he didn't have the SEAL Trident on his uniform. He would tell anyone who would listen how he was a SEAL. But the stories kept changing. The "Team" number he had been with changed every time he told a story. He was fat, kept failing the PT test, and had a poor lack of shooting and weapons skills. I felt it was impossible for him to have been a SEAL, because every real Special Forces type I had ever known, didn't do one thing that "F" kept doing...they never bragged.
I was never in and never will be anything "special" but I have met a few who were. I felt honored to have been near them, or had them as a leader. Their good parts rubbed off if you paid attention. The real ones are good, the fake ones are less than useless.
Anyway, SGT "F" changed units after I challenged him about his lying. He went to Iraq in OIF 1, then returned making up all kinds of stories about stuff he had nothing to do with. His stories got worse in Iraq and some who were with him told me that he actually started to wear the SEAL Trident. ( we think he was actually in the Navy at one time)

There are a few blogs with info on this bullshitting asshole, but to help other find out when someone is faking, check out: http://information.usnavyseals.com/us-navy-seals-info/10-ways-to-spot-fake-us-navy-seal/

Some of this will apply to other "Special Forces". Whenever a homeless drunk tries to tell me he was a "Vet" I find most of them make it up. They usually go with telling me they were in the Green Berets, or a Marine Sniper, or some such bullshit. I like to ask about the "team" or "group" etc they were in, and watch them get confused.
I'm sorry to say, but my advice is never trust anyone who brags about stuff like this. Have them show you their DD 214 (alot will not even know what that is) or a copy of their orders for awards etc.
If you find a fake, shoot them in the gut.

04 March 2009

When to Retire from Law Enforcement?

From the Cop Side: Somebody asked me when I was going to retire from Police Work, this is what I came up with:

1.) The rookies you’re training are younger than your own children.
2.) The rookies call you “Sir” or “mam” after you’ve told them 50 times to stop
3.) You’re now not only arresting the children of the people you arrested at the beginning of your career, but also the grand children (but they’re only going to juvenile hall)
4.) The rookies ask you what it was like to drive a police car with a motor that had more than 350 cubic inches and a carburetor ( and some nights we'd drive 120 MPH just because we could)
5.) You don’t even get excited when someone calls out on the radio “I’m in pursuit” and the only thing you fear is the 15 forms you’ll have to fill out if you get involved (California laws)
6.) You finally learned how to use the new police software to write reports, and the department is going to version 2.5
7.) You still carry a pocket dictionary even though the report writing program has a spell checker- just in case
8.) You not only still carry a back up gun in violation of department policy, but it’s still registered in your ex-spouses name
9.) You don’t have anyone to drink coffee with on your patrol shift because all the new rookies drink the “power” drinks that you think taste like gun cleaning solvent, and can actually remove the copper fouling from your pistol
10.) You still think smoking, selling, growing and buying pot should be a felony and anyone who needs a prescription (in California) is a waste of oxygen
11.) You’re considering getting a medical marijuana prescription as soon as you retire so nobody will bother you and the last 30 + years will be a blurr
12.) You volunteer to be the school resources officer so you can meet hot single moms (or dads)
13.) You’ve forgotten how many special assignments you’ve had with federal and state grants over the years and wonder why none of them are still around (like DARE etc.)
14.) Buy the time you’ve gotten to #14, you can’t remember what the first line said, and you can’t even remember what you had for breakfast, except for the coffee
15.) When you finally get a rookie who thinks he/ or she will drink coffee with you, they want to stop at Star Bucks and spend $7.95 on a foo-foo drink that is not even in the pocket dictionary you still carry around

02 March 2009

Cop tools....?

From the Police side: I get e-mails everyday from police supply companies. Since I started working as a cop in 1979, I have seen a lot of police gear come and go. Some of it is still around and works very well, some of it was crap. I remember when I was sent to some police class in the regional training center, all the cops would pull out whatever pistols we were packing and show them off. "Lookey here, I have the new compact, jumbo, maximizer, auto-feeding sub-prime, bla bla bla .45." and everyone would go "wow."
Then in the 1990's it was cops showing up with the newest Lap top, PDA or multi use cell phone. The sad part was, most of the time, the cop had something that he or she had no idea how to use, but it looked impressive.
Some of the cooler police departments would buy their offices almost anything if it looked good.
Which brings us up to today's item. I just got an e-mail from one of my favorite police suppliers and when I looked at what they were trying to sell, I laughed. It's a new device for helping an officer climb over a fence/ gate. One of the requirements to get into the police academy is you have to be able to scale a 6 foot wall.
However, after most cops around here get hired on, the only PT they do is lifting donuts to their face. When they're confronted with a real life 6 foot wall, they call for the rookie on probation to come over and climb it (that happened to me many times in my first years.)
Now, the latest invention fixes that....I call it the "overeating donut fence climbing tool."

Check it out on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL6JI4vph0Q

I'm not even going to ask how much this shit cost. If you buy anything made for Law Enforcement, the price goes to double what you'd charge a carpenter or anyone else. When you buy Caution tape for construction work it's half the price of the same stuff that says: "Police Line Do Not Cross"....which everyone crosses anyway. I think maybe we'd better off using Construction tape.