06 January 2011


From the Soldier side: In the last few months, I’ve been motivated to start writing a book on Leadership. The kind of leadership I’m talking about is based on my experiences as an Army NCO for over 20 years and a Police Officer/ Sergeant/Detective/Trainer etc for over 30 years.

If you’re the type of leader who is a bureaucrat and a politician, then you won’t want to read my book…as it will absolutely be of no use to you. However, if you be the type of leader or future leader who is about getting the job done properly and all, then my book may be useful to you.

Believe it or not, there are some basics that the Army has taught me, the police training has taught me and I’ve assimilated from the Marines, Navy and others I’ve worked with.

Leaders MUST be able to work well with others. A good leader knows when somebody else knows more about something than they do and lets the more knowledgeable person take lead when needed.

When NCOs work for Officers (yes, we work for the officer, not the other way around) we are supposed to take their guidance etc and make it happen. We must always show respect and never act like we’re better than the officer. New officers with no experience in a specific area, should be able to rely on the NCOs to help train them. However, when either the NCO or Officer is too arrogant to listen, they are doomed to failure.

I have seen both arrogant NCOs and arrogant officer cause a mission to fail.
Use cover...keep your weapons fed! (this is the CI Roller dude in Fallujah, w/o face blacked out)

I ‘ve also been going through some of my old e-mails. For those of you who know me, Sergeant Grumpy (his blog is over on the side) and I went to Bosnia with our Guard unit. When Grump’ returned, the civilian company he worked for had moved out of California. So, he didn’t get to go to Iraq with us…but He did get to go later with another unit.

I can’t remember if he asked me for advice, or if I just volunteered it for him, but I sent him some tips that helped us. This is boring old weapons training stuff, so some of my readers may not find it useful...those going into harms way...pay attention!


I don't know if you got any decent weapons training before your deployment. I know we were ran through shooting courses, but they didn't give us a lot of training other than "there's targets, shoot them"

Here's one tip I taught my guys. Some of them actually used this in gun fights:

Shooters, you can never practice too much!

1. Tactical Reload

The concept is don't let your weapon run out of ammo then try to reload, but put a full mag in when you are behind cover.

If you are in a gun fight, you should be shooting from cover. If you have to move from one cover to another, and say you've fired most of your magazine, well pull the used magazine out, stuff it in a pocket and put a full magazine in before you leave cover. This way you have less chance of running out of ammo while exposed... and you can fire whilst moving.

When you get to your next position of cover, you can keep shooting, but consider putting anther full magazine in before you move again. (tactical reload) The concept is never move into the open without a full or almost full magazine.

2. Rapid reloads.

Set up your extra magazines so you can get them with your support hand (if you're right handed, your support hand is your left). Have the spare mags set so you can grab them and shove them into the magazine well of your weapon without having to shift the hold.

To make a Rapid Reload... used when the tactical reload didn't happen... as soon as you realize your weapon is empty, hit the magazine release button and let the mag drop free. while that's happening, you should be grabbing the fresh mag. Shove it into the magazine well with a slap, then hit the bolt release or slide release and start pulling the trigger. If you practice, you can reload a pistol or rifle in 2 seconds or less. Pracice it without looking at the weapon and practice it while walking fast or running.

Let me know if this shit helps and I'll send you more ...
Stay safe and make it home so we can sit around the VFW and bullshit.


Wrexie said...

That's good stuff, RD. I'm not a Soldier, but I do live in the wild west..so ya never know.
My hands are small and I have to shift my gun so my thumb can reach the release. ..but I like the 2 sec challenge.

Do more of these posts... they're helpful ..even to cowgirls like me.

Riley Carson said...

Leadership is a soft science (like psychology and philosophy). I think books on it are sorely lacking. Maybe you should write a book on it! I think there's an audience for that.

Riley Carson said...

Leadership is a soft science (like psychology and philosophy). I think books on it are sorely lacking. Maybe you should write a book on it! I think there's an audience for that.

CI-Roller Dude said...

WRX, I bet even with small hands, you are a very good shot.

R.C, Yep, Yep.
I've started the book.

Coffeypot said...

Those are excellent points, Dude. I'll remember and use them the next time I go on a shooting spree.

Anonymous said...

1. Finally.
2. Write the book!
V/R JWest

Anonymous said...

Mr. West,
I agree!!

Momma Fargo said...

Great stuff...however...I'm still concerned about that black plague on your face...

Hogdayafternoon said...

I used to tell my promotion-hungry charges that every time they went up a rank, the number of people THEY worked for (as opposed to those they thought worked for THEM), doubled or trebled.
Good one re the mag changes too. From the old revolver days I remembered an ex Army instructor of mine on a live-fire tactical exercise shouting "Stay in ****ing cover. There's no bucket out here to drop your empties in". Different kit these days, but the principle is exactly the same.