Tag Archives: Guides

Check Out The Best Tactical Instagram Accounts To Follow

New to Instagram or just looking for some great Instagram Accounts to follow?  Check out some of our recommended accounts to help spice up your browsing experience. Best Tactical Instagram Accounts to Follow:   @refactortactical

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The Company- RE Factor Tactical is a tactical gear company run and owned by Special Operations personnel.  They specialize in creating products geared towards the Special Operations community and test all of their products downrange in combat prior to bringing it to the market. The Instagram Account- RE Factor Tactical posts pictures of their current and past deployments as well as their customer’s photos of RE Factor Tactical gear in action. http://www.refactortactical.com   @tareinco

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The Company- Tareinco is a VA based company specializing making innovative and original tactical gear.  All of their gear is Made in the USA and hand made by some of the best sewers in the business.   The Instagram Account- Tareinco routinely posts high quality photos of their gear in use and in production.  The well-shot images are a great opportunity for customers to view and analyze their products prior to purchase.   @hecklerandkoch

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The Company- Heckler and Koch make some of the best rifles, pistols and specialty weapons in the business.  If you don’t know who the company is then chances are you probably aren’t interested in tactical Instagram accounts.   The Instagram Account- Heckler and Koch posts some awesome footage of their weapons in actions as well as some behind the scenes shots that help you to get to know the people that make up their company.   @killcliff

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The Company- Kill Cliff makes a sport recovery drink that is sure to make you test positive for awesome.  They also donate a portion of their proceeds to the Navy SEAL Foundation.   The Instagram Account-  Kill Cliff posts pics of their cans in action to include some bad ass photos of Operator down range getting their gun on.   @coastguardus

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The Company- Official pictures by the USCG, all photos are owned by the USCG.   The Instagram Account- Incredible photos of the USCG in action!   @thegreenberets

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The Company- Private, individually run account  posting a compilation of photos of United States Special Forces Operators.   The Instagram Account- Nothing but Operators getting their gun on downrange and stateside.  The photos are reposts from a wide variety of accounts spanning the web.   @everyday_tactical

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The Company- This is Instagram’s premier EDC Magazine run by a private group of EDC aficionados.   The Instagram Account- Great photos of users EDC items, constant giveaways, gear reviews and recommendations.  One of the best accounts to follow for anyone interested in everyday carry items.   Did we miss an awesome account to follow?  List their account in the comments below!

Here Are All Of Murphy’s Laws for Your Viewing Pleasure

1. Friendly fire – isn’t. 2. Recoilless rifles – aren’t. 3. Suppressive fires – won’t. 4. You are not Superman; Marines and fighter pilots take note. 5. A sucking chest wound is Nature’s way of telling you to slow down. 6. If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid. 7. Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo and not want to waste a bullet on you. 8. If at first you don’t succeed, call in an air strike. 9. If you are forward of your position, your artillery will fall short. 10. Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself. 11. Never go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself. 12. Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder. 13. If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush. 14. The enemy diversion you’re ignoring is their main attack. 15. The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions: a. When they’re ready. b. When you’re not. 16. No OPLAN ever survives initial contact. 17. There is no such thing as a perfect plan. 18. Five second fuses always burn three seconds. 19. There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole. 20. A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping. 21. The important things are always simple; the simple are always hard. 22. The easy way is always mined. 23. Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. 24. Don’t look conspicuous; it draws fire. For this reason, it is not at all uncommon for aircraft carriers to be known as bomb magnets. 25. Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you. 26. If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone. 27. When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too. 28. Incoming fire has the right of way. 29. No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection. 30. No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat. 31. If the enemy is within range, so are you. 32. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire. 33. Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren’t. 34. Things that must work together, can’t be carried to the field that way. 35. Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support. 36. Radar tends to fail at night and in bad weather, and especially during both). 37. Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing. 38. Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you won’t be able to get out. 39. Tracers work both ways. 40. If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will get more than your fair share of objectives to take. 41. When both sides are convinced they’re about to lose, they’re both right. 42. Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs. 43. Military Intelligence is a contradiction. 44. Fortify your front; you’ll get your rear shot up. 45. Weather ain’t neutral. 46. If you can’t remember, the Claymore is pointed towards you. 47. Air defense motto: shoot ’em down; sort ’em out on the ground. 48. ‘Flies high, it dies; low and slow, it’ll go’. 49. The Cavalry doesn’t always come to the rescue. 50. Napalm is an area support weapon. 51. Mines are equal opportunity weapons. 52. B-52s are the ultimate close support weapon. 53. Sniper’s motto: reach out and touch someone. 54. Killing for peace is like screwing for virginity. 55. The one item you need is always in short supply. 56. Interchangeable parts aren’t. 57. It’s not the one with your name on it; it’s the one addressed “to whom it may concern” you’ve got to think about. 58. When in doubt, empty your magazine. 59. The side with the simplest uniforms wins. 60. Combat will occur on the ground between two adjoining maps. 61. If the Platoon Sergeant can see you, so can the enemy. 62. Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep. 63. The most dangerous thing in the world is a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass. 64. Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan. 65. Everything always works in your HQ, everything always fails in the Colonel’s HQ. 66. The enemy never watches until you make a mistake. 67. One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many. 68. A clean (and dry) set of BDU’s is a magnet for mud and rain. 69. The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it. 70. Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss. Whenever you are low on ammo, you can’t hit the broad side of a barn. 71. The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired. 72. The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon’s operator. 73. Field experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it. 74. No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill. 75. If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove anything. 76. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp) 77. Air strikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short. 78. When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible. 79. Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA. 80. The tough part about being an officer is that the troops don’t know what they want, but they know for certain what they don’t want. 81. To steal information from a person is called plagiarism. To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence. 82. The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the M60. 83. The perfect officer for the job will transfer in the day after that billet is filled by someone else. 84. When you have sufficient supplies & ammo, the enemy takes 2 weeks to attack. When you are low on supplies & ammo the enemy decides to attack that night. 85. The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Medal of Honor. 86. A Purple Heart just proves that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive. 87. Murphy was a grunt. 88. Beer Math –> 2 beers times 37 men equals 49 cases. 89. Body count Math –> 3 guerrillas plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs equals 37 enemies killed in action. 90. The bursting radius of a hand grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range. 91. All-weather close air support doesn’t work in bad weather. 92. The combat worth of a unit is inversely proportional to the smartness of its outfit and appearance. 93. The crucial round is a dud. 94. Every command which can be misunderstood, will be. 95. There is no such place as a convenient foxhole. 96. Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last and don’t ever volunteer to do anything. 97. If your positions are firmly set and you are prepared to take the enemy assault on, he will bypass you. 98. If your ambush is properly set, the enemy won’t walk into it. 99. If your flank march is going well, the enemy expects you to outflank him. 100. Density of fire increases proportionally to the curiousness of the target. 101. Odd objects attract fire – never lurk behind one. 102. The more stupid the leader is, the more important missions he is ordered to carry out. 103. The self-importance of a superior is inversely proportional to his position in the hierarchy (as is his deviousness and mischievousness). 104. There is always a way, and it usually doesn’t work. 105. Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the General is watching. 106. The enemy never monitors your radio frequency until you broadcast on an unsecured channel. 107. Whenever you drop your equipment in a fire-fight, your ammo and grenades always fall the farthest away, and your canteen always lands at your feet. 108. As soon as you are served hot chow in the field, it rains. 109. Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do. 110. The seriousness of a wound (in a fire-fight) is inversely proportional to the distance to any form of cover. 111. Walking point = sniper bait. 112. Your bivouac for the night is the spot where you got tired of marching that day. 113. If only one solution can be found for a field problem, then it is usually a stupid solution. 114. Radios function perfectly until you need fire support. 115. What gets you promoted from one rank gets you killed in the next rank. 116. Odd objects attract fire. You are odd. 117. Your mortar barrage will put exactly one round on the intended target. That round will be a dud. 118. Mine fields are not neutral. 119. The weight of your equipment is proportional to the time you have been carrying it. 120. Things that must be together to work can never be shipped together. 121. If you need an officer in a hurry take a nap. 122. The effective killing radius is greater than the average soldier can throw it. 123. Professionals are predictable, its the amateurs that are dangerous. 124. No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill. 125. The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it. 126. The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small. (or “on order”) 127. The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions. 128. When a front line soldier overhears two General Staff officers conferring, he has fallen back too far. 129. Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last, and don’t ever volunteer to do anything. 130. If at first you don’t succeed, then bomb disposal probably isn’t for you. 131. Any ship can be a minesweeper . . . . once. 132. Whenever you lose contact with the enemy, look behind you. 133. If you find yourself in front of your platoon they know something you don’t. 134. The seriousness of a wound (in a firefight) is inversely proportional to the distance to any form of cover. 135. The more stupid the leader is, the more important missions he is ordered to carry out. 136. When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not your friend. 137 When the enemy is closing, the artillery will always be to long 138 Smart bombs have bad days too. 139 Uncrating and assembly instructions are always inside the crate. 140 If you have a personality conflict with your superior: he has the personality, you have the conflict. 141 If you enter the CO’s Presence with an idea, you will leave his Presence with the CO’s idea.

Funny Ways to Rate Underachieving NCOs

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Time to knock out some NCOERs?  Don’t know how to rate that underachieving Non-commissioned officer who hasn’t seen his feet since basic training?  Well, with the help of some awesome fans we have put together a few bullets for you to help ensure they are quickly promoted to the next rank of awesomeness because let’s face it if you put a rucksack information long enough they will put stripes on it.

-Works well when supervised

-Consistently sets own standards and then fails to meet them

-Help build local economy by frequenting local strip clubs

-Received McDonalds customer of the year award for most visits to on post restaurant

-Unsuccessful in locating bag of grid squares

-Consistently leads subordinates, to local bar

-Was caught selling APFT insurance

-When combining 3 performed APFTs over the year soldier earned a score of 275

-Ponders while others are in action

-Maintains a low speed, high drag demeanor

-I cannot think of a national emergency that would warrant a promotion

-Officer should go far, away

-APFT score would make a good room temperature

-Fell out of family tree

-Works well with shiny objects

-Should attend Ranger School, for DFAC detail

-Performed job of latrine security guard with valor

-Managed to not be found restrained to floor buffer by power cord this quarter

-Thinks AR-670-1 is more of a fashion guide than a regulation

-Displays a Be, Know, Don’t attitude.

-Becomes hungry when called butter bar

-Soldier would be out of his depth when standing in a puddle

-Social hand-grenade

-Consistently carries out duties to own satisfaction

-Almost found North on a map

-Candidate for Darwin award

-Caught making coitus with BN Commander’s daughter during Army Ball, promote immediately

Here Are Some Tips To Protect Yourself On Facebook

With the increased use of Facebook worldwide, hackers and foreign intel services now have more access than ever to open source information.  Because of this we have grouped with some of the industry experts to help inform operators, service members and citizens how to protect themselves when using Facebook.  We have provided a set of easy-to-follow pictures to help you change your account for increased security.  Please keep in mind these are only suggestions on ways to keep yourself safe and you should contact a professional or Facebook for expert advise.  RE Factor Tactical does not guarantee any information provided in this post will keep your information or account safe and it is up to you to take the correct actions. Rules: 1) You should always treat Facebook as an open source medium and assume anything you say and or post can be used in a criminal manner by an outside party.  Even with complex passwords, adding full profile protection and only being friends with those you trust and know, your information can still be viewed or stollen by someone with little knowledge. 2) Only add friends that you know and trust.  The easiest way to access Facebook information it by viewing a profile through other individual’s updates.  This means that when you are tagged or mentioned in a photo or post, that photo/post is visible to anyone that may be friends with the person mentioning you and their friends will then see that information.  In many cases someone could browse your friend’s open profile to view and gather information about you through any mutual posts or pictures that you appear in.  Encourage your friends to take the same precautionary measures as you. 3) Facebook constantly updates their timeline and privacy settings.  Ensure you are up to date on the most current timeline and privacy settings as they change.  This post is up to date as of 16 January 2013.  We will update as we find out more but we always suggest knowing how your information is shared. Logging in: When logging in you should develop a password that is at least 10 characters long and contains at least 1 upper case, 1 lower case, 1 number and 1 special character.  i.e #[email protected] Always avoid using passwords that look like words such as pa$$wOrd as well as keyboard “waterfall” combinations such as 1234qwerasdfzxcv (if you look on your keyboard these are the first 4 key strokes going from left to right in succession.)  When hackers attempt to break your password they will use these type of pre constructed passwords first and often have databases of millions, yes millions, of preset passwords that they will push through an account.  No matter what password you develop keep in mind it can be cracked and use the next steps to truly protect your identity.

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About Section:

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Your about section has a plethora of information. In many cases someone can access your free information to see where you live, where your family lives, your phone number, date of birth, place of work, birthday and anything else you put in there. For military and SOF types this is something that could be very useful to the enemy especially if you ever found yourself in an interrogation room.  All someone would have to do is hack your FB account and completely dispute any information you may be trying to send their way. Civilians, while you may not find yourself rolled up in some type of situation where you or our national security is at risk, but with the information found on this page people can begin to steal your identity.  Think about it like this: if I break into your email (which is extremely easy), I can search your messages for “bank” and find out what bank you most likely use based on the emails they send you on a regular basis.  I can then go into your bank account and hit “forgot password” where I am most often challenged with your name, birthday, challenge word such as where did you go to high school (that is provided in your timeline) or your mother’s maiden name (if you have relatives listed this is easy to obtain) and then have them send a new password to your email that I know have access to.  From here I can generate a new bank account password and will then have access to your bank account.  Once you have a routing number and bank account number the possibilities are endless. To correct this only provide as little information as possible.  In reality, no one cares where you went to high school, college or any other type of institution of higher education.  Most of your friends most likely know where you work and your relationship status is only to make your girlfriend/boyfriend less jealous because you are openly telling all the other past people you were in a relationship with that you are now taken.  As far as birthdays go, give Facebook a fake one, don’t worry the joy you get from having a bunch of friends who forgot it was your birthday anyways, write on your wall saying the exact same belt fed response of “happy bday!!! :)”, isn’t worth the potential identity theft.

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Privacy Settings: To access your privacy settings go to your timeline main page

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Security:

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Your login approval allows for one more level of security when accessing your account by forcing the person logging in to send a verification code to your cellphone that you then enter into FB for approval.

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Privacy settings: Your privacy settings will allow you to manage who sees your posts.  If left alone anyone on FB can view just about anything you post from relationship status updates to you telling the world that you will be out town for the holidays and that your house is free to rob.  To combat this, ensure all posts are viewed by your friends only.

Also, don’t forget to change who can look you up.  If you allow anyone to look you up then you are open to search by anyone on FB.  A good option is to limit only your friends to having access to search for your account.  You will still be able to find others but it will keep you from receiving random friend requests from individuals that you don’t know as well as reduce your overall footprint on FB. FB-Privacy-11-1024x575[1]

Search Engines: FB gives you the option to make your profile searchable in different platforms such as google, yahoo or bing.  To keep someone from finding your profile through google leave the box unchecked.

Facebook-search-engine-1024x559[1]Timeline and Tagging: Recently, Facebook changed to a new timeline platform which offers a more secure experience when used correctly.  Your photos, profile or information may be displayed to others if you do not limit your tagging.  When you are tagged in a photo a notification goes out to your friend’s newsfeed telling them that you have been tagged in a photo.  If you don’t limit this the photo can be displayed to just about anyone on Facebook and you will quickly become searchable. Even though you may take steps to keep your photos available to your friends only they might not be as reserved with the photos they share of you.  Again, always remember to encourage your friends to take the same secure steps as you to ensure the upmost security. In addition to tagging, Facebook has begun to use facial recognition software that will analyze your face and suggest to others to tag you in a photo that you may appear in.  This facial recognition has negative implications if put into a database and the results are still pending on what criminals and foreign intel services may be able to accomplish with your information.  To combat this, go into the Timeline and Tagging section and only allow tagging of you after it has been approved by you.  In addition turn off Facebook’s facial recognition.

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Blocking: You should always block anyone who attempts to add you as a friend who you don’t know, especially if their profile looks fake.  Blocking suspicious apps will also help avoid any unwanted third party apps from accessing your information.

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Followers: If you leave your posts public, people will be able to subscribe to see anything you post even if you don’t allow them as a friend.

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Apps: This is one of the biggest reasons for the illegal dissemination of information.  When you subscribe to an application it will most often take your basic or detailed information and stores it in its system.  This system is always prone to hacks and if the app is untrustworthy they may attempt to sell your info to an outside source, regardless of what they tell you.  Apps can be created by just about anyone and when they have access to use your profile they have access to all your information.  Ensure all apps that you aren’t using are deleted and only use apps if absolutely necessary.

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FB Adds: Facebook’s adds and monetization platforms are constantly changing and being updated.  The way FB advertises to you is that it looks at your interests listed on your profile or pages that you like and recommends ads that are similar in nature.  However, as FB increases their advertising there is no telling where they might end up and any information you allow them to access may be used for adds targeting or as integration into other platforms.  To reduce your signature we recommend changing your adds setting so that FB can not use your information in the future.

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Again, these are only suggestions and will not completely protect you or anyone else from identity theft.  If you have any others please feel free to share them with the community so we are all kept up to date as possible.

Here Are Some Ways You Can Use Your Operator Band

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The Operator Band is the first 550 cord band specifically designed to meet the needs of the Operator working in semi and none permissive environments.  The band’s components were chosen after attending the US Army SERE Level C Course as well as spending years down range.  We have provided a small but not complete list of some of the uses of the Operator Band.

30′ 80lb Test Fishing Line: –       Fishing Line –       Sewing thread –       Lashing –       Snare line –       Net building –       Shoe Laces

FISHING

 

18″ 40lb Test Snare Wire: –       Snare –       Lashing –       Fishing Line –       Fishing Lead –       Fire wire

LEADER

 

P51 Can Opener: –       Can Opener –       Rope Cutter –       Fire Striker

P51

12′ 550 Paracord: –       Lashing –       Rappelling line –       Fishing Line –       Bow String –       Tourniquet –       Belt –       Backpack strap –       Shoe Laces –       Snare Line –       Net –       Bear Bag Line –       Laundry Line –       Candle Wick –       Restraint –       Rifle Sling –       Swiss Seat

PARACHORD

Fishing hook: –       Fishing Hook –       Sewing Needle –       Compass Needle

Small piranha fish caught in Amazonian basin
Small piranha fish caught in Amazonian basin

 

Handcuff Key Buckle: –       Handcuff Key

 

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Handcuff Key Gif

Flint Fire Starter: –       Fire Starter –       Sinker

FIRE

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For more information on the Operator Band visit https://www.refactortactical.com/shop/operator-band/

Here Are Four More Essential Combat Guides

RE Factor Tactical presents Combat Reference Guides.  After receiving such good feedback on our original 9 Line MEDEVAC stickers we decided to showcase 4 more combat reference guides that we feel are essential in combat.  Included in the REFT Combat Reference Guide list are: 9 Line UXO Report 9 Line MEDEVAC 9 Line NATO MEDEVAC Call For Fire Format Close Air Support Format

Each small Combat Reference Guide is specifically cut to fit on the back of a PRC-148 Radio or the buttstock of a rifle for ease of use.  This allows the operator to keep from having to put down their weapon when calling air strikes, MEDEVACs, UXO reports or close air support.  Our most recent round of stickers were also upgraded to a tough marine grade material to help withstand battlefield elements and ensure longevity.

The combat reference guides were developed by one of our operators, who constantly carried laminated Call for Fire, 9 Line MEDEVAC, Close Air Support and 9 Line UXO reports in his cargo pockets.  These laminations were easy to lose and took his hands away from the tools required to complete mission.  By printing the different formats to a premium grade sticker the operator can now place the stickers on radios, the buttstock of a rifle, vehicle dashes or any other clean, flat surface. Each small sticker is $4.95 and can be purchase at http://blog.refactortactical.com/products/stickers/combat-reference-stickers/   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwc8TOY3Df8

Straight Talk Guide To Traveling When In The Military

After spending some time traveling and seeing the ever so common soldier in uniform traveling through the airport, telling everyone about how they single handedly took over Iraq I decided to put out a few ideas to take into consideration.  Most of these are common sense but as you read through them you will see they are things that a lot of military personnel violate.  Traveling gives someone the most exposure possible to criminals and foreign government personnel and is usually where many victims are initially targeted.

1. Leave the uniform behind Unless you are reporting to training or are required by your commander to travel in uniform there is no reason why you should be wearing one.  Uniforms give the enemy everything they need to determine who you are (name tape), where you are from (unit patch and where you are headed to/coming from), what branch of service you are in, specialty schools you have attended, and rank. Based on these pieces of information anyone could start to develop a very comprehensive packet on you to use later down the road.  In addition in the event that your airline/bus/train etc is taken over you will be the first one targeted (check out flight TWA 847 where a sailor was tortured and murdered during an aircraft hijacking.)  The bottom line is that you gain nothing from wearing your uniform other than a maybe a little recognition or a free drink at the airport bar. However what you do lose is your identity or ability to rise to the occasion if a terrorist situation were to present itself.  Best rule of practice is be the sleeper and keep your military/contracting affiliation to yourself.

2. Lose the tell tale pieces of military gear Leaving the uniform at home is the first step of many in helping to lower your overall profile. Chances are your hair, posture and general way of interacting in public will tell others that you are in the military. However things like molle laden backpacks, your basic training t-shirt, visible tattoos, Oakley glasses, suunto watches and dangling dog tags are a for sure giveaway. By simply bringing a civilian bag, wearing a button down shirt and not saying hooah after every sentence you will greatly reduce your signature and just come across as a very confident, young professional. Again by bringing your backpack with every unit you have ever been in and every school you have ever attended sewn on the side you gain absolutely nothing other than showing everyone around you that you have no idea how to be humble about what you do for a living.

3. Always travel in cabs that look like other cabs. I know this sounds like common sense but you would be surprised how many people get rolled up or at least just ripped off because they thought the cab with three wheels and an off colored door looked “honest.” Before getting into the cab tell them your destination and be sure to negotiate your price and come to a solid agreement.  Even cabs that have meters in them will rig it so you get charged 5 times as much than the locals. (In Argentina I got into a cab and the cab driver hit the meter so that we were charge $5 a block. It took us two blocks to realize it and it turned into an argument that could have spun out of control quickly.)

4. Bring cash, lots of it In the US we have a luxury of using credit cards that few countries share. When traveling abroad you should avoid using your credit card at all costs. It is way too easy to have your numbers or identity stolen or to be charged the wrong amount and not know it.  Always have at least $200 in reserve cash ($100 local currency, $100 US) and only use that in extreme circumstances. When traveling with cash be sure to segregate it in a number of different places such as under the sole inserts of your shoes, a money belt, zipped pockets, your backpack, or underwear (hey it will never get stolen.) This way if you are ever mugged or ripped off then you will only be down a couple of twenties rather than your entire reserve. It’s usually good practice to carry both local and US currency and always be sure to exchange your money at a bank or legitimate vendor (a buddy of mine lost a couple of hundred dollars when we were in the Czech republic because he exchanged money with a local who offered him a great rate. Turns out he got Hungarian notes in exchange.)   5. Never leave your identity unprotected When you leave your hotel room always turn your tv on, and take all forms of ID with you.  The tv will keep house keepers and third party individuals from coming in when you aren’t there and going through your stuff since it’s harder to tell if you are in the room or not.  Even the common room safe isn’t all that safe and can be accessed by just about anyone because the pass codes are controlled by the hotel managers. You should always suspect everyone is out to get you and plan for the worst.  When traveling never leave your identity in your bag, especially if you plan to sleep. (In Germany I saw a girl who had put her wallet and passport in her bag and then fell asleep with it at her feet on the train. When she woke up her bag was gone along with everything in it.)   6. Do as the locals do The best way to not make yourself a target is to do your best to look like those around you. Buying local clothes, learning local norms and customs before arrival, and using a few local phrases will at least make you not look so much of an american ass hole.  In general the rest of the world isn’t too fond of the US so you wont gain much by refusing to blend in. Remember just because it’s ok in the US doesn’t mean it’s ok somewhere else.

7. Avoid confrontation at all costs Your vacation to Mexico is no time to prove to the world how awesome of a fighter you are. The local police will almost always take the side of the locals and if you wind up in jail you will have a whole new set of problems to worry about. The best option if you get burned, ripped off or in an altercation is to take a breath, eat the cost as a loss and move on.  Never ever ever should you result to violence as 100% of the time it will end poorly for you.

8. If the local girl seems too good to be true than she is Just because you came to a new country doesn’t mean you are all of the sudden good looking. Guys are suckers for hot women and will lose everything because they think they just landed their future ex wife.  In Hungary a common practice is for girls to take guys to a bar of the lady’s choice and have the guy order a drink for them. The drink ends up costing the guy $200 and after he has ordered 3-4 and wants to take the girl home he is all of the sudden presented with the bill and the option to pay or get a one night stand with a 280lb Serbian gorilla name Dimitri.  The bottom line is girls can be alluring and will most often lead to trouble in the end.

Here Are Some Tips For Passing Special Forces Selection

1. Don’t quit- We have all met the guy who went to “insert Special Forces Selection, BUDs, INDOC, Ranger School, etc. here” and made it all the way to the last day but got hurt.  Or the friend who apparently got selected but decided it wasn’t for him because his significant other could never go for that.  The reality is that unless that guy now has a chronic limp from his injury chances are he was faking it and quit.  Now I am not into statistics but of the 60-70% of people that leave 100% don’t get selected.  Pretty good odds there that if you quit you won’t make it.  Take it one day at a time and remember that the only easy day was yesterday. Unless you have a down day today, then today is an easy day.  Or unless you just finished selection then that day is easy. Or unless you quit, then that day will be easy.  Well ok, scratch that, it sounds lame.

2. Be the gray man- Going through selection there were all walks of life and a whole mix of eclectic characters.  Most of the guys that showed up thinking they had that cat in the bag, didn’t.  Nothing will draw more unwanted attention to you than sticking out like a boner in sweatpants the first day because you can’t shut your pie hole about how awesome you are.  Leave your “no shit there I was” stories for the bars because the people there won’t be able to call you out on your bull shit about how you single-handedly took over Iraq and then everyone else came in and jacked it all up.

3. Arrive in shape- I know I know you are saying “yeah no shit, duh hh hh.” Well first of all stop swearing this is a public forum. Second, of all, it happens more often that you think.  In my selection class, we lost 15 students just on the PT test.  That’s right, the PT test.  These Infidel strong warriors showed up to Special Forces Selection, considered by Green Berets to be the toughest selection known to man, not even able to pass a PT test.  There are a million and one different sites that you can go to besides Jenny Craig that have some excellent tips on how to prepare.  If you aren’t sure which ones to visit check out our Combat Fitness Deck,  http://stewsmith.com,  or http://porntube.com.  Maybe forgo the last since chances are you are reading this on your mother’s computer.

4. Play the game- Selection is a game, and if Milton and Bradley patented it, they would go bankrupt.  The trick of the game is to do everything the cadre tells you to as best as you can.  If they come out and ask you to jump out of a plane without a parachute, do a cheetah flip while citing the ranger creed you should hit the ground perform a second Cheetah flip and spout the ranger creed off in English and Japanese because that’s just how much you want it.  If the cadre says the sky is pink, well then you should tell him you can’t believe it took you this long to realize it and what a wonderful pink sky it is.  Selection is easy as long as you don’t overthink it and just do as you are told.  As long as you follow the first three tips, chances are you won’t have anything to worry about.

5. Don’t cry- For some reason when guys go to selection, they think it’s ok to shed some tears.  Unless your boo boo is bleeding and you are looking for a lollypop crying will not help you out.  You will see guys cry in selection for all sorts of things from hurting themselves to getting yelled at by the cadre.  Trust me; I don’t think any of the cadres will sit there and say “well he cries a lot but his PT was excellent, so let’s take him.”  Now if you went to a selection, cried and then got selected, well then I congratulate you for passing BUDs, that is incredibly hard.  However, for the rest of us non-swimming SOF goers, I think a general rule of thumb is to leave the tears of passion, pain and happiness back at home for when you are trying to convince your girlfriend you are a genuine guy.

6. Cheat- If you aren’t cheating the selection you are wrong.  Running the roads, asking other candidates for directions and taking weight out of your ruck during the movement are all ways to get you where you are going faster.  I know they say don’t sleep when we aren’t looking, but no one ever says don’t take a thirty-minute shit and I am here to tell you, gentlemen, some of the best naps I have experienced were upon the porcelain throne.  Let’s be honest, chances are you have been cheating on high school tests and yourself when you look in the mirror since you were a kid.  Take that mentality to selection and find the easiest way to make it to the end.  You know that saying “if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying?”  That’s bullshit if you aren’t cheating chances are, you are trying too hard.

7. Don’t get caught-  This follows #6 and is paramount for every SOF operator.  After selection, you will be expected to conduct overt and covert operations around the world while potentially using a cover.  So make sure you know how to keep from getting caught from the get go.  I don’t want you coming back from selection saying that you took this seriously and cheated your way all the way through and then got caught and became a 24-day non-select.  Don’t be an idiot, when you see the lights of thecar driving down the road towards you run your ass into the bushes and make like a tree.   Note: These are just a few tips and should be taken in stride.  The author passed Special Forces Selection but also did it after shitting himself, crying, and with having a natural spotlight on him because he is a great and nasty ginger.  So on second thought maybe scratch the above and do what AJ and Stew Smith say on their blogs instead.