Why We Made The Trauma Shear Holster

The Trauma Shear Holster was developed after losing countless trauma shears during operations and not having them on us when it came to TCCC.  The Trauma Shear Holster is a cheap, durable and easily installable item that will keep your trauma shears on you throughout the entire operation. Adhesion methods: The Trauma Shear Holster can be adhered either using the hook Velcro on the back or by weaving in through MOLLE gear.

The Enhanced Kit Bag

The RE Factor Tactical Trauma Shear Holster is no longer available.

What to put in your E&E Bag

Why We Made The Tactical Tourniquet Holder

After spending years downrange and conducting countless missions the owners of REFT decided it was time to find a solution for carrying the Combat Tourniquet.  This came after a failure to find a product that allows the user to carry their tourniquet on a number of different platforms and access it using one hand.  After creating the prototype, the owner took the tourniquet holder downrange for testing and was initially disappointed with the results.  However, after an extensive redesign and another tested deployment REFT is proud to introduce the RE Factor Tactical Tourniquet Holder to the public.

What to Pack in your E&E Bag

We designed the tourniquet holder to be as accessible as possible.  The tabs that hold the tourniquet in place are sewn together to allow for a one-handed release, something that is crucial when accessing a tourniquet in a life or death situation.  In addition, the tabs have an elastic base to help hold the tourniquet in place using slight retention and allows for the holder to fit most issued tourniquet to include the C-A-T and SOF Tactical Tourniquet.

The tourniquet holder can be mounted to kit either through a MOLLE weave, hook Velcro adhesion or by looping the tabs around a belt or webbing.

The tabs on the tourniquet holder are spaced to adapt to standard-issue MOLLE gear.

The Enhanced Kit Bag

The hook velcro on the back allows the tourniquet holder to be mounted to low vis velcro vests, inside a vehicle, on a medical bag or any other loop velcro surface.  This also allows the tourniquet to ripped off the platform and given to someone else in a medical situation.

The Tourniquet holder can also be mounted to a belt or similar platform.  This is perfect for low vis operations or police officers as it allows the user to carry the tourniquet on their persons and still reach it using both hands. All RE Factor Tactical Tourniquet Holders are Made in the USA and retail for $18.95.  For more information or to purchase visit http://www.refactortactical.com/product-p/reft-tourniquet-holder.htm

What’s in your Go Bag?

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.

How to Call in a 9 Line MEDEVAC and MIST Report

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 airstrikes, 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 purchased at http://blog.refactortactical.com/products/stickers/combat-reference-stickers/   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwc8TOY3Df8

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.  The best rule of practice is to be the sleeper and keep your military/contracting affiliation to yourself.

Don’t be a Target | Travel Smart

2. Lose the telltale 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 buttondown 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 charged a $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.)

Travel Insurance for Veterans

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 housekeepers 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 passcodes 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 won’t 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 should you result to violence as 100% of the time it will end poorly for you.

10 Reasons to get Travel Insurance

8. If the local girl seems too good to be true then she is Just because you came to a new country doesn’t mean you are all of a 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.

Special Forces PT Test

The Upper Body Round Robin AKA the UBRR is a commonly used physical fitness test among many Tier I and Tier II Special Operations Units. This pt test goes well beyond the typical scoring of pushups, sit-ups and a run.

Get the UBRR Eight Week Workout E-Book by Stew Smith here.

What’s the Deal with the Combat Fitness Deck?


Bench Press





Rope Climb

Kipp Up

Shuttle Run

5 Mile Run/Ruck


Special Instruction

As soon as an individual finishes one exercise, he must start the next exercise in no more than 10 minutes.

There is only one common standard for all age groups.

Only one attempt is allowed per participant at each station

In order to pass the UBRR, participants must achieve the following:

Pass all events with at least the minimum score, and Receive at least 1100 total points from all the events combined.

Top Apps for Operational Fitness

Bench press

Time: No time limit.

Minimum: 6 repetitions with the individual’s body weight minus 20 percent of the individual’s body weight is the minimum

Score: The minimum is 100 points. Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 3 points

The correct position is: The individual will lay flat (supine) on the bench, feet flat on the floor, shoulder blades, head, and buttocks in contact with the bench. Hands are approximately shoulder width apart.

A correct repetition is: On the command, “Go”, the bar is pushed off the supports (first repetition only), and arms are extended fully to the locked position. Then the bar is lowered until it touches the chest, and then raised until the arms are fully extended, elbows locked.

Grader position: The grader must be located to one side of the individual doing the exercise to ensure the feet stay flat on the floor, the buttocks, shoulder blades and head stay in contact with the bench, and the arms fully extended. The grader will notify the individual doing the exercise if the feet, buttocks, shoulder blades, or head lift do not maintain contact, or the arms don’t fully extend. The repetition will not be counted after the second notification.


Individual weighs 180 pounds.

Minimum weight: 180lbs-36lbs (20% of 180) = 144 lbs

Individual presses 144 lbs 15 times.

Score = 100 points for minimum (6repetitions)

9 repetitions over minimum x 3 points per repetition for a total of 27 additional points (9 x 3 = 27). Total score is 127 (100 points minimum and 27 points for additional points).


Time: 1 minute

Minimum: 40 pushups is the minimum

Score: The minimum is 100 points. Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 2 points

The correct position is: The back is generally straight, feet are up to 12 inches apart, hands are placed should width apart with arms extended and locked on a generally flat surface

A correct repetition is: On the command, “Go”, the body is lowered from the front leaning rest position until the chest (sternum area) touches a flat hand on the floor, then the body is raised until the arms are fully extended (locked).

Grader position: The grader will have one hand on the floor and the other on one elbow of the individual doing the exercise. The grader will notify the individual doing the exercise if he needs to go lower or extend the arms fully, and will not count the repetition after the second notification.

Special Forces PT Test


Time: 1 minute

Minimum: 40 sit-ups is the minimum

Score: The minimum is 100 points. Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 3 points

The correct position is: The individual lies flat (supine) on his back on a generally flat surface. The legs should have a 90-degree bend at the knees. Feet should be flat on the floor with no more than 12 inches in between them, and at the same level as the upper body. Fingers should be interlaced (one or more and at any part of the finger) and placed behind the head.

A correct repetition is: On the command “Go” the individual raises his upper body by bending at the pelvis until the spine (base of the neck) breaks or equals the vertical plane (lower spine). Then he lowers his body until the shoulder blades touch the floor. The person holding the feet may secure them by any means, but will not be in the way or assist in the repetition.

Grader position: The grader will be positioned perpendicular to the individual doing the exercise. The grader will notify the individual doing the exercise if he needs to go higher or interlace the fingers and will not count the repetition after the second notification.


Time: No time limit

Minimum: 6 pull-ups is the minimum

Score: The minimum is 100 points. Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 3.5 points

The correct position is: The bar will be grasped with hands shoulder-width apart, knuckles facing the individual. The individual will hang from the bar so that the arms are fully extended (starting position).

A correct position is: On the command “Go”, pull with the arms, raising the body until the chin is higher than the bar (head can be level or tilted back). Then the individual will lower his body until he is hanging with arms fully extended. The knees may be bent so the feet are behind the body, but the knees cannot come up in the front or kip in any way that would assist in the repetition.

Grader position: The grader will stand 18 inches in front of the person doing the exercise and will count out loud. If the individual touches the grader with any part of this body, that repetition will not count. The grader will notify the individual doing the exercise if he needs to go higher or lock the arms, and will not count the repetition after the first notification.


Time: No time limit.

Minimum: 10 dips is the minimum

Score: The minimum is 100 points. Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 2.5 points

The correct position is: The body will be fully supported on the dip bar, arms fully extended and locked. Legs may be bent or straight, and feet may be crossed.

A correct repetition is: On the command “Go”, lower the body until the upper arms are parallel with the dip bar, and then press upwards with the arms until the arms are fully extended, elbows locked.

Grader position: The grader will be positioned to one side of the individual to ensure the upper arms are at least parallel with the dip bar in the lower position, and the arms become fully locked in the up position. The grader will notify the individual if he fails the go low enough, or if the elbows don’t lock. He will not count the repetition after the second notification.

Rope climb

Time: No time limit

Minimum: Individual must climb the rope (using any technique) until he can touch the designated height (the green tape at 20 feet) on the rope. An individual will wear a 20 lb vest during this exercise.

Score: This is a GO/NO GO event, and no points will be awarded.


Time: One-minute time limit

Minimum: Six kipp ups is the minimum.

Score: The minimum is 100 points. Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 3.5 points

The correct position is: The individual will position himself underneath the pull-up bar as if he were doing a regular pull-up. Do a left or right facing movement so the pull-up bar is now perpendicular to the individual. Grasp the bar with palms facing each other, no more than 5″ apart, arms fully extended and body hanging without touching the ground.

The correct repetition is: On the command, “Go”, pull up with the arms and torso, raising the feet and legs, one leg on either side of the bar, until the heels touch above the bar, with the bar between the legs. Then lower the legs until the arms and legs are fully extended in the starting position. This is one repetition.

Grader position: The grader will be located to one side or the other of the individual to ensure the arms and legs are fully extended to start each repetition. The grader will also ensure that the heels touch above the bar on each repetition. The grader will notify the individual if the individual fails to fully extend the arms or legs or fails to touch the heels above the bar. He will not count the repetition after the second notification.

Shuttle Run

Time: 24 seconds is the maximum time

Score: The maximum is worth 100 points. Each full 0.1 second under the maximum is worth 2 points.

A correct course is: The course will be a pre-marked 25-meter running lane that is flat and without obstructions. Easily visible lines on the ground will indicate the starting point and the 25-meter point.

A correct shuttle run is: On the command “Go”, the individual doing the exercise will leave the start point and run down to the far end of the course, pick up a block, return to the start point and put that block down behind the line. Then he will pick up a different block, return to the far end, put that block down behind the line, pick up a different block and return to the starting line. The blocks must be placed behind the lines and carried by hand.

Grader position: The grader will be positioned behind the starting line, and must use a watch that measures tenths of a second.

Example: Individual’s time = 22.4 seconds

Time is 24 seconds or less (maximum) = 100 points

Total time under 24 seconds is sixteen 1/10th second increments

Score = 100 (maximum time) + (16 x 2) for tenths of a second

under the maximum for a total score of 132 points

Five Mile Run

Time: Maximum time is 40 minutes

Score: The maximum is worth 100 points. Every full 5-second increment under the maximum time is worth 2 points

A correct course is: The course will be 5 miles in distance, with a paved (or similar) surface, generally flat and without obstacles. The start and finish line will be the same.

A correct five-mile run is: On the command “Go”, the individual will begin to run at his own pace, and continue through the course until he crosses the finish line. This exercise must be completed

Grader position: The grader will be located at the start/finish line, and will begin the time at the command “Go”. He will call off the finish times as runners cross the finish line, and he will not stop his watch until the last runner has completed the run.

Example: Individuals time = 36:17

Time is 40 minutes or less (maximum) = 100 points

Total time under 40 minutes is 223 seconds

44 full 5 second increments x 2 points per increment = 88 points

(22 x 3 = 88)

Score = 100 (maximum time) + 88 (points for 5 second increments) for a total

Score of 188 points.

5 Mile Run


Five Mile Rucksack March

Time: The maximum time is 75 minutes for the ruck, 40 minutes for the run.

Score: The maximum score is worth 100 points. Every full-time increment of 15 seconds under the maximum is worth 2 points.

Equipment: The rucksack must weigh no less than 40 pounds dry. Uniform can be pants or shorts with boots.

A correct course is: The course will be 5 miles in distance, with a hard, solid surface, generally flat without obstacles. The start and finish line will be the same.

A correct five-mile rucksack march is: Individual will begin at the start line, and at the command “Go”, will begin the ruck march at his own pace and continue through the course until he crosses the finish line. This entire exercise must be completed with the rucksack, and unaided. Running is authorized.

Grader position: The grader will be located at the start/finish line, and will start the time at the command “Go”. He will call off the times as participants cross the finish line, and he will not stop the time until the last individual completes the rucksack march.

Example: Individuals time is 52 minutes 35 seconds.

Time is 75 minutes or less (maximum) = 100 points

Total time under 75 minutes is 22 minutes and two 15 full seconds

22 minutes x 4 (15 second increments) = 88 + 1 (15 full second)

89 x 2 = 178

Score of 178 points

Looking to improve your UBRR Score? Try the Eight Week Workout guide by Stew Smith available for immediate download here.

Go Ruck Challenge

Are you physically fit?  Do you piss excellence?  Do you consistently wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and wonder how you are going to be able to cope with people not as awesome as you are?  Well then chances are the GO Ruck Challenge is right up your ally.

The GO Ruck Challenge is a team run event that takes place in cities all around the US and world and is designed to test an individual’s ability to work as a part of a team and to push themselves beyond the typical level of comfort.  The challenge was conceived by US Army Special Forces Green Berets and is modeled after events that are commonly found in the Special Forces Selection and Qualification Course.


Read Now

These highly trained cadres of current and former Special Operations operators take the common man (and woman) on an adventure through different cities, testing their endurance, will power and ability to operate as a member of a team.  Each trek and challenge is kept secret and members are pushed throughout the event that lasts over two days and covers over 20+ miles through each city’s main areas of interest.  In the end, each member who successfully completes the challenge is given a GORUCK Challenge patch (which never goes on sale) and bragging rights to say they completed the event.

Before you go, make sure you know how to make it suck a little less. Read our blog, here, to prepare yourself

Since each trek’s events are unique there is no guessing the events to come and no one can develop a strategy to cheat the system.  Members are told to show up with one backpack (GO Ruck sells their own if you don’t have one) and the following items: Bricks: Four if you’re under 150 pounds, six if you’re over. Life isn’t fair.

Wrap your bricks in something, a t-shirt or whatever, and then cover your future souvenirs with bubble wrap and duct tape. Water, lickies and chewies. For water, a hydration bladder is preferred. Except in winter, when they like to freeze up Headlamp – mandatory for all night classes. Gloves, a windbreaker (required when temperatures are below 50), and everything else you think you need. One form of identification and $20 for a cab, just in case.

One team weight per class: 25lb minimum. One team American flag per class, the bigger the better. We like Annin, but no pressure. Friends – it’s probably less scary that way. This event is perfect for anyone who is into fitness and or being awesome as it will push you to a place of discomfort which few have experienced.

Those who complete the journey get a snapshot of what it takes to become a Special Operations soldier and the ability to truly put their money where their mouth is.  Oh, and to top it all of GO Ruck donates $10 of every entry fee to the Green Beret Foundation, something we think is pretty damn awesome.  For more information on the event visit http://goruckchallenge.com.

We’ve Teamed Up With Operation Hawkeye

Virginia schoolboy Will Thomas launched Operation Hawkeye following the loss of thirty U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) warriors and a military working dog on 8.6.2011, when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter, call sign EXTORTION 17, was shot down in Afghanistan in what remains the largest single-day loss of life in Operation Enduring Freedom.
As featured in Sports Illustrated KIDS, Operation Hawkeye uses sport to honor fallen heroes and aid those left behind.  The team numbers in the tens of thousands from across the U.S. “• individuals, businesses, athletes and coaches, and media figures and writers “•working together.  OHE works closely with several nonprofit organizations serving the SOF community, and has established fundraising and programmatic accounts with the Navy SEAL Foundation, Red Circle Foundation, Air Commando Association Foundation, That Others May Live Foundation, MARSOC Foundation, Warrior Dog Foundation, among others.
Will Thomas and other mission teammates, including Tap Rack Bang Creative and COMBAT Swag, created the Project FAST ROPE paracord bracelet as part of a youth-led initiative to inform others regarding the service of America’s SOF and raise funds in support of their loved ones.  The bands are made in the USA, and are also incorporated into other Operation Hawkeye initiatives involving youth, such as the E17 Free Throw Challenge. Thomas launched Project FAST ROPE was launched through a $1,000 Disney Friends for Change Grant awarded Thomas in 2013.
RE Factor Tactical has teamed up with Operation Hawkeye to help raise money and awareness.  100% of the net proceeds of each sale of the FAST ROPE bracelet are donated to Operation Hawkeye’s program accounts within mission teammate nonprofits.
For more information on Operation Hawkeye visit www.OpHawkeye.com, and be sure to join the mission team by “liking” www.Facebook.com/OperationHawkeye.

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.

Special Forces PT Test | Upper Body Round Robin

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 than 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.

Top Apps for Operational Fitness

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 the car 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.

How To Call For Fire

Every combat troop should know the proper techniques for calling for fire.  However, this is something that often goes untrained and put to the wayside due to time constraints and lack of funding.  We have decided to put together a quick call for fire tutorial that can act as a good bookmark for any service member, NCO or officer to reference when conducting training or refreshing their skills before deployment.  This is just a basic guide on how to call in a fire mission and does not discuss bracketing.  For more information check out FM 6-30.

Call For Fire Format

1. Observer ID/Call Sign


a. Type of Mission

  1. Fire for Effect
  2. Suppress
  3. Adjust Fire
  4. Immediate Suppression

b. Size of Element to Fire

c-Method of Target Location

  1. Grid-6 digit
  2. Polar-distance from you
  3. shift from a known point

3. Target Location: a-Grid- 6 digit b-Polar- distance and direction to target c-shift from a known point

  1. Lateral Shift- Left/Right Meters
  2. Range Shift- Add/Drop Meters
  3. Vertical Shift- Up/Down Meters

4. Target Description:

5. Method of Engagement:

6. Method of Fire Control:

  • Fire when ready
  • At my command
  • Cannot Observe
  • Time on Target
  • Check Fire
  • Fire Again

The following is an explanation of each line on how to call in the 9 Line: The first Transmission is as follows: 1. Observer ID/Call Sign- “FDC this is Alpha 2 Call for Fire to Follow” 2. WARNO: “Warning Order” a-Type of Mission- “Fire for Effect, suppress, etc.”

How to Call in a 9 Line MEDEVAC and MIST Report

  • Fire for Effect- Used after the battery has properly dialed in on the target. Full Battery Fire
  • Suppress- most often used for a pre-designated TRP
  • Adjust Fire- One Round fire
  • Immediate Suppression- Full Battery Fire

b-Size of Element to Fire- Omission indicates a request for one battery c-Method of Target Location- Always use at least a 6 digit MGRS Grid. Example “Method of Target Location is Grid”

  • Grid-6 digit
  • Polar-distance from you- Most common
  • Shift from a known point- If the elevation is over 35 meters give a new elevation

The seconds Transmission is as follows: 3. Target Location:  Example “Target is at location 13S TU 1234365” “Target is two zero degrees at two zero zero meters from my location” “Target is three zero one degrees at three five zero meters from objective tango”

NATO 9 Line MEDEVAC Format

  • Grid-6 digit
  • Polar-distance from you- Most common
  • Shift from a known point- If the elevation is over 35 meters give a new elevation

Lateral Shift- Left/Right in meters Range Shift- Add/drop in meters Vertical Shift- Up/Down in meters, the 3rd transmission is as follows: 4. Target Description: Number, type, personnel Example “Two armored personnel carriers, six personnel” 5. Method of Engagement: Let FDC know if danger close 6. Method of Fire Control:

  • Fire when ready- Fires at FDC’s discretion
  • At my command- FDC fires when told
  • Cannot Observe- Person firing rounds cannot view impact of rounds
  • Time on Target- Fire at a specific time
  • Check Fire- Recheck fire data
  • Fire Again- Fire using same data

RE Factor Tactical 9 Line Bro Card

Once all data has been given using the Call for Fire Check list use the following verbiage: When the shot is fired the FDC will communicate “Shot Over” you will respond with “Shot Out” The FDC will then call out “Splash Out” when round is 3 seconds to impact When impact has occurred you will call “Rounds Complete, over” you will reply with Rounds Complete, Out” After viewing the battle damage observer will send “End of Mission” and give the following BDA “Target Neutralized”- Something may still be alive “Target Destroyed”- Total destruction of target “No effect” “Estimate x number of casualties”

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