3 Pistol Drills you can use next time you go to the range

Shooting is an art form that requires constant practice and patience.  Due to the fact that shooting is a perishable skill, if an individual fails to put in the time and effort at the range, it is very likely that their skills will diminish.  One of the common mistakes that many shooters make, is focusing on drills that only emphasize one aspect of the fundamentals of shooting.  In order to become a well-rounded and proficient shooter, it is important to develop all of the skills associated with shooting equally.  It is important to get the most out of the time you spend at the range.  This blog will discuss three drills that you can use at the range to help develop some of the essential skills to tactical shooting.  These three drills are a great way to hit on multiple fundamentals of shooting if you only have 1-2 hours of range time.

IQ Targets-Learn More

The first drill is a dry firing drill.  Although conducting dry drills is not nearly as exciting as live fire, it is an essential part of developing muscle memory, and becoming a more competent shooter.  Proper dry firing drills are similar to a dress rehearsal before the big show.  The drill is very simple, get on line facing your target, with an unloaded and holstered weapon.  Draw and dry fire your pistol at the target.  Use this time to focus on the minute details of every aspect of how you shoot.  Your stance, the speed and fluidity of your draw, proper grip, proper sight alignment and sight picture, smooth trigger manipulation, and not anticipating your shot, should all be considered as you are running through this drill.  Take your time, and conduct approximately 10-15 draws.

Essentials Shooting Target-Learn More

The next drill is a slow aimed fire from the 25-yard line.  Similar to the dry fire drill, it is important to take your time and focus on accuracy.  At 25 yards, any mistakes in your fundamentals will be apparent when you take your shots.  While shooting, focus on all of the same fundamentals you were working on during your dry fire.  Shoot 10-20 rounds, or until you have achieved consistent and accurate shot placements.  After completion of the dry fire drill and the slow fire drill, you should be adequately warmed up to move on to more complex drills.

The final drill is called El Presidente.  The El Presidente is a drill that incorporates facing movements, speed, accuracy, multiple target engagement, and reloads.  Set up three separate targets side by side, approximately one yard between each.  Preferably these should be silhouette targets.  Have six rounds in your weapon, with another magazine of six rounds in your speed reload mag pouch.  The starting position for this drill is on the 10-yard line facing up range with your hands held up in the air at shoulder level.  When the drill begins, turn, draw, and fire two rounds to each target, speed reload and fire another two rounds into each target.  Engage the targets either left to right and back, or vice versa.  The overall goal is to have no misses and to complete the drill in the fastest time possible.  Run through this drill multiple times working on getting faster each time.

By adding these three shooting drills to your range day you will improve your speed, accuracy, and confidence at the range. By gaining brilliance in the basics you will be able to graduate to more difficult drills with confidence. Once the El Presidente drill is mastered you will be able to move on to drills that include movement, shooting and reloading all in the same drill and further improve your readiness for a real-world scenario. For more shooting tips and drills that will take your shooting to the next level go to tacticalequipment.com

For more drills, check out our shooting drills page.

What Does A War Game Against North Korea Look Like?

By Dominic Oto

The Tactical Operations Center (TOC pronounced “talk”) looks like the bridge of a starship. You walk into a large room amid computer terminals, screens, and coaxial cables running everywhere with electronic equipment.  The TOC  is where South Korea and the U.S. are preparing and planning for the unthinkable- an all-out war with North Korea.

This past week the two long-term allies kicked off their annual joint exercises. They do it not with tanks or troops but behind screens and keyboards in underground bunkers across South Korea.

North Korea’s Nuclear Program- 70 Years of Aggression

The United States Forces-Korea uses state-of-the-art wargame exercises and simulations. The military planners and training participants use a simulated landscape to fight a pretend war with North Korea.

The exercise has all the steps leading up to a war with North Korea. All of it builds up to a victory.

North Korea is condemning the drills. North Korea says the exercises are a rehearsal for a future attack (Reuters, 2017). They believe that the practice war aims to decapitate Kim Jong Un. Especially unsettling for Kim Jong Un and his government is when the American military uses satellites to zoom in on North Korean leadership.

Whenever a large exercise is carried out in South Korea, North Korea feels that they to match it with a macho show-of-force (Reuters, 2017). North Korea moves around troops, trucks, and tanks which cost lots of money. North Korea hates doing this because their country is running out of money.

How A North Korean EMP attack could cripple America

South Korea insists that drills and wargames are defensive in nature. The U.S. has about 28,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea. Many American soldiers join in on the exercise. Other NATO allies like Britain, Australia, and Canada also take part.

The wargames are meant to maintain the alliance’s ability to defend South Korea under any scenario.

What do the wargames look like?

The details of the wargame are a closely guarded secret. Having done dozens of wargames as a planner and staff officer, in the U.S. Army, I can walk you through a possible scenario.

The Tactical Operations Center (TOC)

The building the wargames take place is in a large, beige, one-story office building. The main room is a cavernous room called the Tactical Operations Center. One thing is made very clear from the beginning- where they played by big-boy rules because the stakes are life and death even though it is a wargame.

The TOC was a small auditorium.  It was a five-tiered stadium-style seating where thirty staff officers sat. Overhead, in the front of the room sat three big giant flat-panel TV screens.

Soldiers, airmen, and Marines buzzed all over the place. They sit forward facing computer monitors.  Each has a different job. One might request aircraft, one coordinated artillery fire and another focused on logistics. As the Battle Captain, I am the conductor of the orchestra of war.

Why does North Korea hate America?

Without windows, the TOC is like a casino. You never know if it’s day or night. Time seems to stop while you are on duty. I go in at sunup and came out at sundown for a 12-hour shift. The only break is for a thirty-minute lunch in the middle of the day.

The TOC has radios that have a complex array of SATCOM communications and television feeds. Computer monitors and consoles, telephones, charts and a conference table for maps.

I listen with a half ear to all radio traffic. Some calls on the nets alarm me, but mostly it’s routine radio chatter. Some of the feeds take us into the heart of hostile North Korean strongholds. As the wargame starts the radios came to life the pretend war against North Korea. 

The screens display live-feeds of Predator drones. The second screen tracks American and Coalition units all over the Korean peninsula- both North and South. The work of the TOC is pivotal to the war effort.

My Set-Up as a Battle Captain

All the information is pushed into two computer screens displaying different stuff to me as the Battle Captain. My main screen allows me to read real-time updates from the field. It shows the location of friendly units by small blue electronic icons on a scalable Falconview map. Positions are automatically updated by satellite and specific user-defined intervals.

This gave us in the TOC a near-real-time picture of friendly forces locations. This helps us in tracking mission progress. It provides a last known point, should the need arise, to assist American and Allied soldiers in a firefight.

This is a real improvement over the old way of using a map on a wall with “sticky notes” being moved around by a radio operator as updates came in over the radio.

The second screen follows the radio traffic as it comes over the radio on the loudspeakers in the TOC. It allows me to go back and look at stuff like map coordinates, number of casualties and anything else the team reported up in its first few minutes of a firefight.

Code words and similar short text transmissions really help me to track the radio calls. I read the second screen to update MEDEVAC aircraft like sending patient vital signs and send them ahead to care facilities.

We use two separate classified computer systems to coordinate operations and pass information: SIPRNET for U.S. forces and CENTRIX for coalition forces like the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Day-to-Day Operations during the Wargame

Each morning all the major subordinate commands update the Task Force Commander (a two-star general) in the last twenty-four hours of operations.

The TF Commander gets on the update on the security situation on the TV screens in the main cities and towns around South Korea. Each hotspot got a color grade— red, orange, yellow, or green —depending on the insurgency’s actions.

On computer screens in his office, the TF Commander and his staff can track minute-by-minute movements of ground units and aircraft throughout South and North Korea. He can use the same display in his office to de-conflict assets like artillery or close air support for teams that were in trouble.

The TF Commander can speak daily with senior leaders in the field on video teleconferences. Hundreds of officers and senior non-commissioned officers scrambled around the headquarters.

On a typical day, the TF Commander greets the staff with a hearty. “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.” The wall of screens displays PowerPoint slides and images of colleagues connected via secure video from other spots around South Korea. The darkened room with its big video screens and amphitheater-style seating looked like a NASA command center. This would go on until the exercise was done four to five days later.

Works Cited:

Reuters. (2017, August ). U.S. and South Korea practice virtual war against the North. Reuters.

About the author:

Oto holds a BS in History from Oregon State University and a MMA in Military History from American Public University. He served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Company Commander and Staff Trainer to the Afghan National Army. He was wounded once and decorated three times. Oto is an Infantry Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.

U.S. Army Special Forces Training – An Introduction

 

The Army Special Forces are more commonly known as the “Green Berets.”

Special Forces candidates are forged through fire. Their physical and mental toughness has stood the test. Their character must be beyond question. Special Forces soldiers are teachers, mentors and combat advisors to indigenous partner forces. They must possess the unique attributes and character traits that define the soldiers of the Special Forces Regiment.

How are the Rangers and Special Forces different?

Integrity. Courage. Perseverance. Personal responsibility and adaptability are some of the unique character traits a Special Forces applicant must possess. A soldier’s ability to live in and work in harsh conditions is the heart of Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). SFAS is a grueling three-week test of a soldier’s character, commitment, intellect, and physical stamina. It tests leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.

A U.S. Army Special Forces team assaults a building during a close quarters battle demonstration for Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa in Baumholder, Germany, March 9, 2015. The ability to rapidly secure buildings allows Special Forces teams to complete a variety of missions ranging from hostage rescue to the suppression of enemy forces in an urban environment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo illustration by Sgt. Paul Peterson/Released)

Becoming a Green Beret is truly a mark of distinction. Special Forces soldiers comprise only 2% of the total Army force. They execute 75% of our nation’s special operations missions.

If selected, soldiers will attend the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Once they graduate they are assigned a Special Forces Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). They go to foreign language training in for one of 14 foreign languages.

The SFQC is a conduit for soldiers to join a Special Forces Detachment Team- Alpha or “A-Team.” From here they conduct SF missions worldwide. The SFQC is forever evolving, making sure that Green Berets can operate the multidimensional, complex world where they live and operate.

The six-phase course has 65 weeks of training for all SF officers and enlisted soldiers. There are an additional 36 weeks of medical training for SF medical sergeants.  Phase 1 is an introduction to unconventional warfare. This includes training on SF principle tasks: Mission command, land navigation, history of SF, adaptive leadership, methods of instruction and physical training.

Students in SFQC act as guerilla role players during Robin Sage, the litmus test for the SFQC. This gives students a behind-the-scenes look at the environment they will be operating in the future.

Phase 2 is Special Forces Small Unit Tactics (SUT). During this phase, SF students learn how to operate tactically on an SF ODA or A-Team. Soldiers conduct ambushes, patrols, raids, small-unit tactics and practice troop leading procedures. There is additional training on rifle marksmanship and urban operations.

Special Operations Truths- Rough Men, Ready 

Phase 3 is SERE Level C Training. SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) SF candidates receive intensive training on the code of conduct, survival and field craft skills. They get a five-day field exercise that gives them the opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills. They have to find water and food, build shelter and fires, and evade capture over long distances.

Slovenian Army Special Operations Soldiers and Soldiers of 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Colorado Army National Guard, practice explosive breaching techniques during a three-week Joint Combined Exchange Training exercise in Slovenia in June. Explosive breaching allows Soldiers to rapidly enter a building and disorient its occupants. This maintains surprise and momentum for friendly forces and usually results in decreased casualties on both sides. (Photo by Capt. Michael A. Odgers)

Phase 4 is specialty training in 16 weeks in MOS training. Officers are taught the critical tasks and planning required of a Special Forces detachment commander. SF sergeants learn the basics of their new occupational specialties.

Here’s the Deal With Special Forces Training Area Pineland

For the next two months, eight hours a day, SF candidates study special operations planning and unconventional warfare. The curriculum shows officer leaders how to lead combat, security assistance, and contingency operations.

About the author:

Oto holds a BS in History from Oregon State University and a MMA in Military History from American Public University. He served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Company Commander and Staff Trainer to the Afghan National Army. He was wounded once and decorated three times. Oto is an Infantry Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.

  

Paratroopers in World War II (Training)

During World War II American paratroopers fought from Port Moresby, New Guinea to North Africa. They were trained to fight in any part of the world in any conditions, in any climate, or in any terrain.  Whether it’s a desert environment or snow-capped mountains, paratroopers can fight anywhere.

The training to be an airborne soldier was tough, but so was the job. What set airborne soldiers apart was their ability to jump into combat.  Paratroopers are not ordinary soldiers. Their battlefields are behind enemy lines. They drop silently from the sky. They are messengers of death and destruction. Lightly armed, unsupported by tanks and heavy artillery, they fight time after time against overwhelming odds and win.

Some of the best WWII Airplane Nose Art

Here is how a fighting paratrooper is made.

A volunteer candidate learns how to jump off stands six feet in the air, to tumble and to fall. The trainasium is a 60-ft high aerial assault course. It looks like a jungle gym on steroids, built for giants. Its unique design tests a recruit’s willingness to jump out of a plane. If the candidate is afraid of heights or leaping out of an airplane, the trainasium puts them face-to-face with their fears.  By running, crawling and jumping at height, it simulates the exit phase of a parachute jump. The 60-foot beam walk in the air was a pass or fail event.

It’s a process that builds bodies and spirits.

The training gets tougher as the weeks pass. The survivors jump from 34-foot towers to simulate jumping from an airplane. The candidate got strapped into a harness and a quick slide to the ground from the tower. It gave the candidate of the feeling of movement in the air.

Impossible Missions: The Devil’s Brigade – WWII’s First Special Service Force Part 1 – Int

A wind machine was used so students could learn how to handle the parachute on the ground after they landed.

Next, the student got dropped from a 200-foot tower in a parachute chair. This gives him an idea of height and view. It gives him the sensation of coming down quickly.

Now he gets closer to the real thing. A cable hoisted the candidate to the top of the tower. He learned by feel what it felt like when a parachute opens.

Next, the student learned his parachute inside and out. He learned to pack it fold-by-fold. Each piece in its place for compactness and order. Every cord is checked and in position. He gave his parachute his full attention. With his parachute hung his life.

Using a dummy plane mock-up, the student learned to time his jumps. He went back to the tower again, this time jumping with a parachute already inflated. The student is ready now and equipped. He wore an old football helmet to protect his head and high boots to break the landing shock. The student was up for final inspection before he loaded the plane. The plane was ready, and so were the men. Flying underneath him is the objective that he must locate. “Stand up!” is the order from the jumpmaster. A second later the jumpmaster yells, “Hook static lines!”

Impossible Missions: The Devil’s Brigade – WWII’s First Special Service Force Part 2 – Training and Men

The men help each other with the last minute checkup. The men wait for the order. The order comes, “Jump!” Eighteen men in ten seconds exit the aircraft. Their first jump is over as soon as it begins.

The student drift to the objective. He worked the lines of his parachutes to guide him to their targets. After landing, in a few seconds, he was ready for action with his rifle and demolition kits.

Fort Benning Paratrooper training official photographs taken by R.L. Throckmorton

A paratrooper must be a master of many arts. A paratrooper not only fights in Europe, not only in the deserts of North Africa, or the jungles of the Pacific but everywhere.

Airborne soldiers are taught to survive everywhere and anywhere. The paratroopers in World War II were a combination of brave fighting men, taught to survive overwhelming odds and willing to parachute behind enemy lines.

In World War II, paratroops were a product of new training for a new kind of war. Their graduation ceremony was to jump into Europe and the Pacific to fight against tyranny and Fascism and win. And win they did.

About the author:

Oto holds a BS in History from Oregon State University and a MMA in Military History from American Public University. He served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Company Commander and Staff Trainer to the Afghan National Army. He was wounded once and decorated three times. Oto is an Infantry Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.

US Army Airborne Command Patch used during WWII

An Introduction to the US Army Airborne

“This jumping out of airplanes was not the epiphany, it was the transportation to fight. But, there was something about it which tested the mettle of the man, that which made him what he was, to be able to, in fact, wage battle.”

– Major General William C. Lee “Father of the Airborne”

WWII US Army Airborne Command PVC Patch

 

Germany’s use of airborne forces in the conquest of Europe in 1940-41 introduced a new age of warfare. An age where paratroopers and glider troops descended from the clouds onto the heads of their enemies.

In response to German battlefield success, the U.S. organized a Parachute Test Platoon at Fort Benning, Georgia, in June 1940. The idea was to test the concept of vertical envelopment.

Before they were Airborne…The 82nd Division in World War I

Under the command of Lieutenant William T. Ryder, the Airborne Test Platoon proved that American infantry soldiers could jump into battle and win. The forty-eight man Airborne Test Platoon grew into several airborne divisions made up of hundreds of thousands of volunteers by 1944.

WWII Airborne Command PVC Patch

In October 1940, the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion was activated at Fort Benning. By late 1942, airborne divisions were formed with parachute and glider infantry, engineers, artillery, medics, military police, and logistic soldiers. Five airborne divisions were established during the war.

Waco CG-4A in flight (U.S. Air Force photo)

Paratroopers were formed in the crucible of combat during World War II. United States Army parachute, glider, and special operations were a catalyst for victory on the battlefield. They had, in the immortal words of General Jim Gavin’s words, “a fighting heart, the will to win.”

Here’s A Brief History of the Airborne

An airborne army and corps were formed in the European Theater of Operation to control the strategic and tactical use of airborne forces and troop carrier units. In the postwar era, 18th Airborne Corps and the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions served as the U.S. Army’s strategic reaction force. These elite forces stand ready at a moment’s notice to deploy anywhere in the world in defense of freedom. That mission continues to today. The extraordinary men and women who have served in the U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations forces serve as a vanguard of freedom around the world since World War II.

About the author:

Oto holds a BS in History from Oregon State University and a MMA in Military History from American Public University. He served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Company Commander and Staff Trainer to the Afghan National Army. He was wounded once and decorated three times. Oto is an Infantry Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.

How to Properly Set Up and Wear a Combat Tourniquet

Disclaimer:  These are only suggestions or proper setup and wear of the combat tourniquet.  All personnel using a tourniquet should consult their medic, doctor, healthcare provider and tourniquet manufacturer on the proper wear, setup and use of the tourniquet prior to use. After seeing countless soldiers walking around in combat zones, improperly wearing their tourniquets, we thought we would put together a quick guide to getting your kit set up properly.

Soldiers are often handed tourniquets and given no instruction on its proper wear or use and then take that piece of kit into combat under the notion that they will figure it out when the time comes.  Unfortunately, the tourniquet, like any other piece of life-saving equipment is something that you have to pragmatically approach in setup and use.  This is especially important when you consider that an arterial bleed can cause someone to lose consciousness in 15 seconds and completely bleed out in 30-45 seconds.

If operators are not actively practicing the use of applying the tourniquet from their kit then they should consider making it a part of their training plan.  Below is a simple guide on how to properly set up and place a combat tourniquet on your gear.

Step 1- The setup of your tourniquet is crucial in ensuring it can be quickly placed onto the injured limb.  Under no circumstances should soldiers be walking around theater with the plastic wrap still covering their tourniquets or if they haven’t properly set up the tourniquet for immediate use. Inspection: When you are first issued a tourniquet you should inspect its components for cracks, tears or deformities.

This is especially important for users living in dry, hot, desert environments that cause the plastics to break easily. Preparation:  After inspecting the tourniquet you should prepare it for immediate deployment.  The idea behind the set up is to make the tourniquet so that it can be used with one hand in the event that it needs to be applied to one of your arms.

To prepare the tourniquet for employment first weave the tourniquet strap through ONE loop on the attached buckle.  This will allow you to cinch the tourniquet down using one hand.  If you weave through both buckles you will not be able to cinch the tourniquet down as quickly.  Once the tourniquet is cinched down and the velcro has adhered to itself there will be enough friction to keep it from moving. If you are using the RATS Tourniquet you can create your cinch loop prior to storage as well for even quicker application.

Sizing: Size the tourniquet so that it is open/wide enough to fit over your largest extremity (usually your leg) as well as fit over any equipment you might have on such as a drop leg holster or boots.  The tail end should be very short since it will adhere to the velcro on the tourniquet. If the tail is too long and adhered to too much velcro you will not be able to grab it and cinch it down using one hand.

Take the tail end of the tourniquet and fold it over on itself, creating a small tab for you to grab.  This is important given that if you are using the tourniquet, your dexterity will be limited due to gloves, blood or dirt.

Finally “S” roll the tourniquet onto itself so that it will open when pulled from your kit.

Step 2 – Placement: Placing the tourniquet on your kit is as equally as important in ensuring you can employ it in a timely manner.  Many soldiers downrange place their tourniquets in their top right or top left cargo pocket of their duty uniform; this should be avoided considering that if the opposite arm in which the tourniquet is being carried becomes injured it would not be able to reach up and grab the tourniquet from the pocket.

All tourniquets should be placed where both hands can easily reach them and release with minimal effort! One of the most important things when considering placement of the tourniquet is ease of employment.  Rubber bands, tourniquet holders and even hair ties are great ways of keeping your tourniquet on your kit while still being able to rip it off when needed.  Note: If using rubber bands or hair ties to keep your tourniquet on your kit always ensure you replace them every few days.

Rubber bands will easily break, especially when left out in the elements. A few common places for your tourniquet include the middle of your plate carrier, behind your back, centered on your belt, lower left or right pant leg cargo pocket, buttstock of a rifle, inside a vehicle door handle and on the outside of the aid bag.  I personally keep two tourniquets on me at all time, one on my tourniquet holder located behind my back on my belt and the second in my lower cargo pocket pants leg.

The reason I keep these in the said locations is to ensure that one, I have a tourniquet on my persons at all time and two, I have more than one tourniquet on me at all times in the event that I need to apply it to two extremities or to another casualty. Placing the tourniquet on your body armor:

Placing the tourniquet on your belt (best option for low vis operations)

Placement on rifle:

Placement in pocket: Important considerations: When operating in a semi or non-permissive environment you should have a tourniquet on you at all times.  In many cases, personnel operating overseas will gucci their kit with several tourniquets, none of which are carried on their first line of equipment.  This causes personnel to walk around the base with no ability to stop massive bleeders and leaves them vulnerable when IDF or Green on Blue attacks occur.

Remember, just because the mission stopped doesn’t mean the war stopped, be ready to perform first aid at all times. In short, when you need to use your tourniquet you have the rest of your life to figure out if you set it up properly or not.  To ensure quick application operators should always practice taking their tourniquet from their kit and applying it to their different extremities in 15 seconds or less.  We try to incorporate the placement of tourniquets into our stress shoots and combat scenarios to ensure each operator has the proper setup. We have numerous options available on our website that will allow you to quickly access your tourniquet in a life or death situation.

Learn more at tacticalequipment.com

Why You Should Buy Made In The USA

A lot of Americans downplay the need to buy products Made in the USA, mainly because as a society we have become accustomed to wanting things cheap and now.  We will often overlook the morals of a purchase in order to get a product made overseas at 10% the cost of the Made in the USA product, disregarding the implications of that purchase and how it will affect our fellow citizen, nation and the overall international arena.

What people most often forget is the purchase of any product generates profit.  This profit goes to someone and or some government.  From the sale of every product, there are taxes that you are directly or indirectly paying/contributing to and these taxes are used to fuel economies and personal interests.

Think of it like this: if I buy a product made in China I am essentially giving money to a Chinese citizen and the Chinese government.  This revenue is then used as a bargaining tool for the Chinese government to build warships, armies, more factories, roads, and even hospitals as well as increase their international strength and political influence.  Even the money that goes to a Chinese citizen is subsequently taxed by the government and also used for nation building and hegemonic growth.  You could also look at the case of Pakistan.

When you buy a product made in Pakistan, that money goes to the Pakistani government, a nation well known for contributing to terrorist activities.  This is not to make the link that if you buy from Pakistan you are supporting terrorism, but it does give a little thought/insight as to where those profits might end up.

While it is impossible to know where exactly your money ends up from a purchase it is safe to say that the purchase of a product from a foreign country contributes directly to that country’s economy and political interests. While the profits generated from the purchase of a product go to another nation’s gain it also detracts from our own.

At present, the United States Economy is in a state of disarray and it’s our own fault.  Because of our societal tendencies to want things cheaper, we have pushed our production to nation states who can pay sweatshop workers to crank-out products at twice the speed and for a quarter of the price while at the same time creating a greater profit margin for the company.

Typically, US manufacturing or retail businesses will graduate to overseas production where they are guaranteed the ability to double their production at a fraction of the cost and their actions will almost always go unnoticed.

We have gone as far as making the US Olympic uniforms in China and reports suggest that $3.2million worth of our nation’s flags were made overseas.  Even the Apple MacBook I am writing this blog on was made overseas.  We as a nation have officially sold out to a consumer mindset and have thus begun the decline of the USA as we know it. The good news is, there is still hope.

There is still something you as an American can do, every day, to help rebuild our economy and to help dig ourselves out of a 16 trillion dollar debt.  When you buy products that are Made in the USA you are not only supporting US business but you are supporting US interests both at home and abroad.

Our nation currently suffers a 4.3% unemployment rate.  That means that 7 million reported Americans are currently out of work.  We understand this number doesn’t mean there are 7 million Americans that can’t get jobs because (there are a some who choose not to work); however, it does reflect a large number who desire to work but can’t find decent jobs.

The bottom line is, when you buy a product Made in the USA you create jobs in the USA.  As RE Factor Tactical grows we continually hire American workers and since we manufacture almost all of our products in the USA, we can offer different positions such as receptionists, labor workers, and engineers to Americans.

When our company is taxed our taxes go to the US economy and the revenue we make for our company is spent on the US economy. Now, I know there might be a few of you already chomping at the bit to write a rebuttal telling us how if your profits go to the USA and then the US Government gives money to Pakistan in military aid or Egypt’s newly established contentious government then you are essentially doing the same thing as buying overseas.  And to a certain extent that may be true.  However, when you buy a product made in the USA those funds ALSO go to schools, hospitals, national defense and all of the other amenities we enjoy as Americans.

Without revenue, our economy will continue to suffer while others flourish.  We understand not every product can come from the USA and even our Blasting Cap is made in Bangladesh (not by choice).  We also understand buying only products Made in the USA would be expensive, exhausting and most likely impossible.  Will you pay more? Sometimes.  Can you force yourself only to buy Made in the USA?  Probably not.  But when there is a choice, which there usually is, we hope you consider a product made by Americans and allow that generated revenue to help strengthen our own economy, military, education system, and overall health as a nation.

We believe that as a nation we need to reestablish ourselves as one of the leading producers of textiles, export goods and craftsmanship in the global economic battlefield.  We need to become the nation that others look to for guidance on quality and treatment of workers.  And, this all begins with nationalistic pride in ourselves and the purchasing of products that our fellow Americans create and make in the USA.

Companies committed to selling in the USA give up their own profit that could be made by going overseas for the good of the nation and job creation. For full disclosure, the following products carried in our store are not Made in the USA.  Please note that we work tirelessly to make all of our products in the USA, however, some of them can only be made overseas due to logistical reasons.

We only go overseas for production as a last resort, after all other options have been exhausted. –RE Factor Tactical Blasting Cap (Made in Bangladesh.)  These are made through FlexFit, a US company whose manufacturing facility is based overseas.

30 Pre-Battle Songs Chosen By You

We asked you guys what songs you listen to in order to get your game face on.  Here are a few of the chosen songs that get your blood flowing and ready for battle.

1)  Drowning Pool-Bodies 

 

2) Pantera- 5 Minutes Alone

 

3) Bay of Pigs – Long Black Veil

4) Metallica- The Four Horsemen

 

 

5) Creedence Clearwater Revival- Run Through the Jungle

 

6) Three Dog Night- Never Been to Spain

 

 

 

7) Slipknot- Wait and Bleed

 

 

 

8) Doomsayer- Hate Breed

 

 

9) Five Finger Death Punch- House of the Rising Sun

 

10) Guns n Roses- Welcome to the Jungle

 

11) Inner Circle- Bad Boys

 

12) Flow Rida- Low

 

13) Static X- Push it

 

14) System of a Down- Bounce

 

15) Godsmack- Straight Out of Line

 

16) The Acacia Strain- Beast

 

17) Testament- Trial by Fire

18) Queen- Bohemian Rhapsody

 

19) Jonny Cash- God’s Gonna Cut You Down

 

20) Slayer- Raining Blood

 

21) Coolio- Gangsters in Paradise

 

22) Volbeat- Warrior’s Call

 

23) Johnny Cash- The Man Comes Around

 

24) Metallica- Enter Sandman

 

25) Styx- Renegade

 

26) D12- Instigator

 

27) Disturbed- Ten Thousand Fists

 

28) Iron Maiden- Childhood’s End

 

29) Pantera- Walk

 

30) Motorhead- Hell Raiser

Why does North Korea hate America?

By Dominic Oto

The North Korean regime hates the United States. Every day on North Korean news the Hermit Kingdom’s citizens are told Americans are imperialists, aggressors and hostile towards North Korea.

In school, North Korean children are taught that “cunning American dogs” want to kill them and eat them. To understand where and why this hate is coming from we need to back to the Korean War.

What happened in the Korean War?

After World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed to split the Korean peninsula at the 38th parallel. Kim Il Sung was installed as North Korea’s communist leader in 1948. In 1950 Kim tried to reunify the Korea peninsula by force.

The Northern forces pushed down the peninsula capturing Seoul. A highly trained and Soviet-equipped North Korean Army swarmed across the 38th parallel to attack unprepared South Korean defenders. Caught off guard, the North Koreans almost succeeded until the United Nations, American led troops made a surprise landing at Inchon. The Inchon landing was the plan of General Douglas MacArthur. The landing turned the tide of the war and cut off the North’s supply lines.

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The American led U.N. forces moved deep into North Korea, capturing Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. But the Chinese entered the war. Chinese communist troops crossed the North Korean border and pushed the U.N. forces back to where it all began, the 38th parallel. For the next two and a half years, neither side made any headway.

What happened next?

Finally, the U.N. and the Communists signed a ceasefire agreement on July 27, 1953. The guns of war finally fell silent after three years, one month and two days of war. Sadly, the two Koreas would have a troubled- and sometimes bloody- stalemate for decades after the actual fighting of the Korean War.

Most Americans have forgotten, or worse yet- never knew- that the three-year Korean War was a brutal and epic struggle. The United States casualties were 33,629 men killed and 103,284 wounded. Casualties among the 15 U.N. nations other than the United States was 17,260 killed and wounded.

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More than a million North and South Korean citizens died.  The South Korean Army had over 844,000 casualties. North Korean and Chinese casualties were estimated at over a million.

The village of Panmunjom in northern South Korea is the only contact point between the two Koreas. Panmunjom is the last border of the Cold War. The Demilitarized Zone, DMZ, is a frontline with an ongoing face-to-face since 1953. Panmunjom marks the separation of the two Koreas.   

What do the North Koreans think?

The Korean War devastated the peninsula. The North got the worst of the fighting. The U.S. dropped over 635,000 tons of bomb on North Korea during the war. This is compared to the Pacific theater in World War II, where the U.S. dropped 503,000 tons of bombs on Japanese targets. The bombs decimated the North. After bombing urban targets to rumble, the U.S. hit dams, flooding farmlands.

This devastation has, in part, fueled a fictional North Korean narrative. This mythological story of resiliency and tough attitude has kept the Kim dynasty in power for almost seven decades.

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North Korean propagandists have created a new and perverted history from the real events of the Korean War. The diabolical plot of the U.S. as a bloodthirsty aggressor is designed to keep the shock and horror of the war alive and the Kims in power.

According to the distorted version the North Korean believe, the South, backed by their imperialist U.S. allies, started the war. The Korean War is painted as a patriotic struggle for survival, fought against American invaders. North Koreans call it the “Victorious Fatherland Liberation War.”

The rogue regime has used the memory of the fictional Korean War story as a brilliant ideological tool. This reminder keeps North Korean citizens in constant fear of an imminent American attack. The narrative of American aggression is kept alive and is taught to school children.

When things escalate between the U.S. and North Korea, the North propaganda machine goes into overdrive. This unifies the North Koreans against the external threat of another U.S. backed invasion. The North Korean people see themselves in a struggle for survival “against the U.S. imperialists and South Korean warmongers.” For the North Koreans a war against America not merely a contest of beliefs, but a struggle of epic, even heroic proportions, pitting forces of light (North Korea) against darkness (the U.S. and South Korea). The fate of North Korean civilization itself seems to hang in the balance.

About the author:

Oto holds a BS in History from Oregon State University and a MMA in Military History from American Public University. He served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Company Commander and Staff Trainer to the Afghan National Army. He was wounded once and decorated three times. Oto is an Infantry Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.

For further information check out Frontline’s Special on the Secret State of North Korea

Frontline Special on the Secret State of North Korea