On January 10th a Taliban insurgent wearing a Suicide Vest (SVEST) and a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) detonated near the Afghan Parliamentary Building in Kabul, killing 31 and injuring over 80 people. The attack began with the SVEST detonation near a van followed with a VBIED detonation after Afghan police arrived on scene.
An Afghan Police spokesman said the attackers targeted Afghan Intelligence Officials. Officials believe both Afghan Intelligence personnel and civilians are among the dead.
This is the bloodiest attack in Kabul in recent months.
We all like discounts and free shit so we set out to find some solid companies out there who offer some solid discounts to active duty and or veteran personnel. Please note that some of the discounts may change from the time this blog is written so be sure to check with the company for further details. If you are out shopping don’t be afraid to ask if the store offers any military related discounts, you might be surprised who actually does.
If you know of any other discounts please be sure to add it in the comments below so we can help grow the list!
1: RE Factor Tactical- We offer 15% off to Active Duty Military Personnel, Law Enforcement Personnel and Emergency Services. To qualify, please create an account using your official government email address. Once complete email email@example.com and we will adjust your account to receive the discount.
2: National Park Service- Offers free entry with a valid Active Duty ID.
3: Banana Republic- Offers 20% off to all Active Duty and Veteran personnel.
4: Verizon- Offers 15% off to Active Duty Service Members
5: Chick-fil-A- Offers 10% off to Active Duty Service Members (varies by franchise)
6: Lonestar Stakehouse- Offers 20% off every Monday and 10% off every other day to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.
7: Hard Rock Cafe- Offers 15% off to Active Duty Personnel.
8: Cabelas- Offers 5% off to Active Duty, Reserve, Retired and VA Personnel.
9: Footlocker- Offers 20% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.
10: Lowes- Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.
11: Nike- Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.
12: Dick’s Sporting Goods- Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.
13: Bed Bath and Beyond- Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.
14: Apple- Offers varied discounts to Active Duty and Government Personnel. Ask for their federal program.
15: AT&T- Offers 15% off to Veterans and Active Duty Service Members.
16: Home Depot- Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.
17: Proof Research Barrels- 25% off to all Active Duty and LE personnel.
18: Brass Flags- 7% off to all Active Duty Military, Fire, EMS and LE personnel.
19: Manta Defense- 20% off to all current or former Military, LE, FED and EMS personnel.
20: RMJ Tactical- $65 off all axes and tomahawks for LE, EMS and Active Duty Personnel. $35 off for Veterans personnel.
21: Sarge’s Shooting Bags- 25% off to all Active Duty Military, Veterans, EMS, Fire and LE Personnel.
22: Lantac USA- Offers 10% off to all LE personnel.
23: AZ Guns- Offers a variety of price breaks to Active Duty Military, LE and Federal Employees.
24: Fox Group Tennessee- Offers 20% off to all Active Duty Military, Veterans, LE, Fire and EMS Personnel.
25: California Emergency Prep- 10% off to all EMS, Fire, Active Duty Military and LE Personnel.
26: Madison Fight Science Gym- Offers free 20 hours of training to all Active Duty Military and LE personnel.
27: Strip Gun Club, Las Vegas- Offers 10% off to all Active Duty Military and LE Personnel.
NOTE: It is against DoD policy to scan, copy or send your CAC Card for any reason other than official government business. If a company asks for a copy of your CAC Card you should ask for confirmation via other means. If you copy your DD214 don’t forget to black out your Social Security Number.
Hey Hero, congrats on making it out of the military and into the PMC world. You are about to embark on the greatest monetary adventure of your life, but before you do we wanted to offer a few pieces of advice.
1. Kit- Before deploying buy as much gear as possible. This is essential and your coolness with be calculated by your ability to buy the most up to date gear. Don’t have a use for that piece of gear? No problem. As long as the gear has MOLLE on it you are set.
2. Tattoos- Get some, actually get a lot of them. A couple of true crowd pleasers are flames, skulls, spiderwebs, 8 balls, inspiring quotes about how you will never give up and anything tribal. The more menacing the better and make sure they put somewhere on your body where everyone can see them.
3. Look like you are going on a safari- This is quite possibly the most important of all. Go to your local tactical dealer and buy one of everything…. Actually scratch that buy 10 of everything in every color. Don’t worry you can afford it, you are a baller contractor now. Also be sure to put on all of your gear BEFORE leaving the US, it’s paramount that you let everyone know in the DC, Atlanta or Dubai airport that you are bad ass and mean business. Added points for having your ID holders with all of your information out for all to see. If you are curious what to wear as an undershirt “who’s your bagdaddy,” “dirka dirkastan”, and something about you being an infidel are all perfect options.
4. House- Buy one, a big one with lots of extras like a pool, 5 car garage and an insanely large TV. You will need somewhere for your wife and her boyfriend to live while you are away so make sure it’s nice. Not sure what you can afford? A good rule of thumb when buying a house is to take your yearly average income and multiply it by 3 and that is what you can safely afford. Since you are a rich contractor and will never be fired or let go due to a change of work go ahead and take what you make in a year and multiply it by 20. This way you are guaranteed to match your newly acquired baller rich lifestyle.
5. Car- What am I thinking? Truck. The bigger the better and make sure to get a good lift kit, loud exhaust, bumper stickers that contain your entire DD-214 and flamed decals. Remember anything under a super charged V-8 is for pussies and you don’t want to be a pussy now that you are a snake eating contractor do you?
6. Harley- Notice I didn’t write Honda, BMW, Kawasaki or anything else lame like that. Get something big with a loud exhaust. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to ride one either, chances are your wife’s boyfriend does and he will be able to keep it running for you while you’re gone.
7. Watch- Go to your nearest Rolex retailer and buy a submariner, make sure it’s brand new and really expensive. Everyone needs to know you make a lot of money and that is the best way to prove it. If it’s not a Rolex then make sure it’s big, bright and easily identifiable as something that a rich person would wear by anyone not accustomed to your gangster ass lifestyle.
8. Savings- Don’t do it, you will just be wasting your time since you are getting more money next month and lots of it. If you are confused on ways to spend it I recommend going to Vegas, Thailand or the Philippines and throwing it at strippers and other minions who don’t make as much you.
9. Tap Out Shirts- Can’t fight? No problem!! You don’t need to train for years… remember that Jiu Jitsu class that you took 3 years ago but were too tired to finish? That is all you need to start wearing a bunch of fight clothes… maybe everyone will think you’re actually sponsored!!
10. Buy lots of supplements- Anything that sounds like ‘Jacked-Up Fuck Monster’, ‘Energy Fist’, ‘Stronger, Deeper, and Definitely not-Gay’, and ‘Mega Mass Monster Bench Press’ will do. It is irrelevant if it actually works, just buy it, and have it sitting out on your night stand… much respect (besides, you’ll be doing steroids anyway). And remember, if its herbal, cleansing, vitamins, or overall health and wellness related you will look like a giant pussy.
11. Get on social media and tell everyone else how bad-ass you are- Now that you are a PMC you are pretty much the Delta Force DEVGRU ninja operator of the security world. Nobody knows more about tactics and operations than you now that you went through a 2 week WPPS course. It’s your duty to get on Facebook and Instagram and educate the rest of those low life scum that only make a month what you make in a week. Be sure to degrade others on the chat forums and talk about the time you were in the military and killed more people than ass cancer on your last deployment. On your profile be sure to list as many photos as possible of you jacking steel, shooting guns and all your testosterone infused trucks and motorbikes.
After almost a year of work, we are excited to announce the release of our new Essential Shooting Guide. This 91-page book is specifically designed to use in conjunction with our Essentials Target. Together, they will enhance your shooting skills as well as make the most out of your range time.
The Essentials Shooting Guide starts out with the user shooting our 150 round, 17 course of fire Essential Drill listed in Chapter 1 on page 7.
This drill is designed to test all of the major aspects of shooting including draws, reloads, marksmanship, trigger speeds, and target transitions. Following the drill, you will see where you need to improve and offers exercises to enhance your skills.
Each drill also has a section where you can record your results and track your improvement. The books are printed in the USA and measure 4 x 6″ to allow for easy carry to and from the range.
So this debate started in the Team Room, and I think it deserves a little more attention than you can really give it in the comments of a Facebook post. The original question asked if people carried more than one gun, and then had a second question about pocket carry. I probably won’t get too deep into the pocket carry question, but the backup gun question deserves some thought.
A quick Google search of “should I carry a backup gun” will turn up quite a few articles, most pro-backup, but some against. Most of the pro-backup articles are written by police officers and draw heavily from the work of Massad Ayoob, and his research into actual incidents involving officers and civilians using backup guns (if you haven’t read Ayoob, you should, mostly because when he states an opinion, he backs it up with actual events that support said opinion). That said, just because the internet says so doesn’t mean that you – the only person who can make a decision for you – should carry two guns. Let’s take a quick look at both sides.
A backup gun provides you with another option if your gun fails. By fails, I don’t just mean a jam, because there is a pretty good chance you could clear a malfunction faster than you could draw a second gun depending on its location. By fails, I mean that either the gun is mechanically broken internally, or the gun has been mechanically disabled by an external force such as a bullet. And yes, it has happened. You won’t fix that, not in a gunfight. You won’t. That leaves you with two options: beat the assailant with your somewhat inadequate club, or draw another weapon, whether gun or knife (in the states that a concealed fixed blade is legal). If the fight is still at a distance, a second gun provides a much better option than a knife.
A backup gun provides you with another option if you can’t access your primary gun, whether due to your seatbelt, being pinned by the assailant, or if your normal firing hand is disabled. Having a second gun in a separate location can provide some relief to this issue. Ayoob provides an example of an individual choosing for placing a backup gun in his overcoat pocket while he transited from his vehicle to a building, while his primary gun was under the coat, presumably to be carried when he was in the building with his overcoat off. The gun ended up saving his life when he was attacked between the vehicle and building.
A backup gun provides you with the option to arm a second person, like your buddy who is trained but decided that today – of all days – he wasn’t going to carry. He may not like being handed your subcompact, but hey, it beats nothing.
So we talked about three advantages. Obviously, though, carrying a second gun has drawbacks. There’s the weight issue. Even with a subcompact gun, you’re adding weight. There’s the issue of having a place to put it. In the summer, in shorts and a t-shirt, you are quite short on places to stash a gun, much less two. And even if you can find a place, you may find yourself being extra paranoid about printing or exposing. Plus, if you carry a med kit, flashlight, knife, etc., each of those burns up real estate. And then there’s the weight issue again. I did actually read one article that stated that he was afraid of carrying a second gun because it might look bad to any police officer he had to talk to. To be honest, I’m not going to care. Unless there is a law against it, I’ll carry whatever I feel like, and it’s not really the cop’s business what I’m carrying. I’ll be polite, but it’s not his business.
So now that we’ve briefly talked about both sides of the issue, what about if you have definitely decided to carry a backup, at least in certain cases? Well, first you have to really think about what you’re going to carry. Revolvers have always been favorite for backup, owing to their simplicity, but they will have a different operating system that your regular carry (albeit quite simple) and capacity is limited. Carrying a subcompact version of your carry/duty gun is also a good option, as the controls will be the same, and you can feed it from your standard capacity mags. Then there is the pocket pistol option. While they will be much easier to conceal, they are usually limited in size, and your standard mags won’t work in them. While they may have a similar operating system, you are also sacrificing some long shot accuracy and control, but if the assailant is on top of you, better the gun you have than the gun you don’t.
Second – where to carry. I’ve seen people carry their backups in their waist cross draw or appendix, on their ankles, on
Their armor, and in their pockets. The main thing I would be concerned with is access. How am I going to get to this if my primary is disabled, if my gun hand is injured, if I’m on my back if I’m pinned in my car? Those are the instances you are most likely to need the gun, so you’d better have it in an accessible spot.
I can’t tell you whether you should carry a backup, only you can decide that. Think through the advantages and disadvantages, analyze your individual situation, then make that decision for yourself.
Oh, and if you do carry a backup, you’d better be practicing with it just like you would with your primary.
About the author
Joel is a 12 year veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he has served in various units including the International Training Division and Maritime Security Response Team. He has held qualifications including Deployable Team Leader/Instructor, Direct Action Section Team Leader, and Precision Marksman – Observer. He has deployed/instructed on five continents and served in quick reaction force roles for multiple National Special Security Events in the US. He is the owner of Hybrid Defensive Strategies, LLC in Chesapeake, VA, and can be contacted on Facebook and Instagram. Any opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Coast Guard or the US Government.
Unfortunately, in today’s military, the chances of using a 9-line MEDEVAC format in combat is high and many operational personnel are not receiving the training required to call it into medical personnel correctly. If a MEDEVAC is improperly requested in, the patient may not receive medical care promptly, possibly resulting in catastrophic consequences. All personnel, civilian or military should be trained to calmly and collectively call in a 9-Line MEDEVAC under stress. Additionally, training should include stressful scenarios where personnel, from privates to senior officers, practice calling in MEDEVACS to training cadre.
When calling in a MEDEVAC, there are several steps that the individual must take to ensure the 9 Line is properly called in and dispatched units are given the necessary information required to reach the patient’s location.
Step 1: Return fire/render the scene safe- Before attempting to call in a 9Line MEDEVAC the scene must be rendered safe. Personnel should not reduce the overall efficacy of the force’s firepower to call in a 9Line. If the unit under fire reduces the overall aggression and violence of action against the enemy force it could result in a greater loss of personnel. At all costs, the firefight must be won before moving towards rendering aid to the wounded.
Step 2: Care under fire- Once fire superiority has been established medical personnel can begin care under fire. In this step medical personnel and medically trained operators can start to tend to life-threatening wounds while maintaining security.
Step 3: Determine number of patients by type- this is not only valuable information to have when calling in the 9line but it will also allow medical personnel to accurately triage patients based on their medical condition and chances of living. In this step critically wounded personnel is identified and consolidated in the event, there is limited space on incoming MEDEVAC platforms.
Step 4: Contact MEDEVAC channel- while ensuring the scene safe is important, getting the MEDEVAC out is also critical. MEDEVAC units will have varied response times but giving them notification of the situation as soon as possible will help reduce their time to the station. If the operating element has a BFT, this should be hit as quickly as possible to let supporting units know of the emergency taking place. Again, operating personnel should practice radioing for help as part of their response to attack.
Step 5: Using 9 Line MEDEVAC format to call in MEDEVAC- The first five lines are most important when calling in a MEDEVAC, the other four can be relayed when birds are in the air. Ensure you have a safe LZ for the landing party.
Important: no matter what the situation on the ground the radio operator should remain calm and collected at all costs. Personnel calling in a MEDEVAC while in a state of panic may relay incorrect information or speak in a manner that is incomprehensible over the radio. Remember, responding units will not come any faster if the RTO is calling the 9Line in a sensitive manner.
To ensure the 9Line is called in properly the Operator should consider writing down the information to ensure all pertinent information is passed.
The 9-line MEDEVAC format can vary based on the operational element. Some items use the U.S. military 9line MEDEVAC while others use NATO 9Line or internally generated 9Lines with the unique information required for supporting units. All leadership and medical personnel should get with local MEDEVAC elements to ensure they have proper radio frequencies and 9Line formats readily available. Also, every person on the ground should have a 9Line MEDEVAC on his or her persons at all times. This can be a card placed in an IFAK, on a radio or kept in a pocket. We recommend using the RE Factor Tactical 9Line MEDEVAC reference guide which can adhere to the back of radio, buttstock of a weapon or inside of a vehicle.
Line 1: Location of pickup site- this is given in an MGRS 6-8 digit grid.
Line 2: Frequency and call-sign at pickup site- this is the frequency and callsign that you will be talking to the incoming MEDEVAC aircraft on. In most cases, this is a predetermined, non-encrypted channel that is set-aside for MEDEVAC. If possible write this on all 9Line cards before the mission.
Line 3: Number of patients by precedence-
A- Urgent (surgical)- i.e. requires the in-flight surgeon to perform surgery while en route to the hospital.
B- Urgent (non-surgical)- the i.e. patient has an arterial bleed that can be stabilized until arriving at the hospital.
C- Priority- i.e. injuries that are not immediately life threatening but could become fatal eventually.
D- Routine- i.e. patient requires regular medical care, but the unit cannot transport them by their means.
E- Convenience- i.e. nonlife-threatening care provided to personnel in a combat zone.
Line 4: Special Equipment required-
C- Extraction Equipment- i.e. jungle penetrator
Line 5: Number of Patients by type:
A- Litter- cannot walk on their own
B- Ambulatory- able to self-move to MEDEVAC platform
Line 6: Security of Pickup area-
N- No enemy troops in area
P- Possible enemy troops in area (approach with caution)
E- Enemy troops in area (approach with caution)
X-Enemy troops in area (armed escort required)
Line 7: Method of Marking at pickup site (important: always ensure marking equipment is available to the marking personnel. If you are going to throw purple smoke, ensure you have purple smoke on hand)
A- Panels- i.e. VF-17 panel
B- Pyrotechnical equipment- i.e. pen flare, red star cluster
C- Smoke Signal- (provide smoke color)
E- Other- i.e. IR flash or beacon
Line 8: Patient Nationality and Status
A- US Military
B- US Civilian
C- Non-US Military
D- Non-US Citizen
Line 9: NBC Contamination
*During peacetime provide terrain of pickup site
M.I.S.T. Report– The M.I.S.T. Report has recently been incorporated into the 9Line MEDEVAC format and traditionally comes after the 9Line Format. The M.I.S.T. Report stands for:
M – Mechanism of injury (mine, GSW, RPG, RTA, etc.given)
I – Type of Injury (found and or suspected)
S – Signs (pulse rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate)
T – Treatment is given (morphine, tourniquet, etc.Example)
“Line one, one eight Sierra whiskey papa one two tree one four five one seven”
“Line two, two seven zero zero Bravo Five”
“Line tree, alpha one, bravo tree”
“line four, alpha”
“line five, alpha four”
“How to copy over?”
At this point, the MEDEVAC line will repeat all given and initiate movement for MEDEVAC. Once in the air, the operator will relay final four lines in the same manner provided.
Remember, training to send in a 9Line is necessary for all personnel on the ground. You never know when YOU may be calling in a MEDEVAC and you never want to wait until the situation to take place to figure out that you are unable to call it incorrectly.
A simple way to keep a 9Line on you at all times to carry the RE Factor Tactical 9 Line MEDEVAC format which is available on our website. Made in the USA of tough marine grade vinyl, they are precisely cut to fit on the back of a PRC-148 radio or the buttstock of a rifle.
We have a lot of people asking us what to put in the standard “go bag” aka “go to shit bag” aka “bug out bag.” These things are essential for any operator from soldier to a police officer. While Go Bags tend to vary from person to person, there are a few essentials that everyone should stick to. Have more ideas on what to put in your go bag? Post them below so others can learn!
The bag- This is the part that tends to change the most from person to person. Some like small bags some like big bags and we all hate ho bags but none the less you need one that is durable, portable and compartmentalized. The pictured bag in this post is our ASO Bag. This is considered a larger than normal Go Bag and would be designed to fit more in a trunk than at your feet. We also offer a Newton Bag which is a smaller bag designed for more tactical load outs. Not sure where to buy a bag??? No problem, everyone carries their go bag that they swear the perfect design. The bottom line is figuring out what works best for you and your mission that can carry all of your goods but still be portable and efficient.
Extra Ammunition- You can never have too many bullets in a firefight, and your Go Bag is the perfect place to store extra ammo. It is wise to carry ammo for your most casualty producing weapons such as your M-4, Shotgun (police), or Crew Serve Weapon but remember to store a few extra mags for any other weapon systems you might have on you. If your primary goes down, you want to have a few extra mags for your secondary. I like to carry an extra load of ammo of 8xM4 mags, and 3xG17 9mm mags. Also I store magazines in the doors, glove compartments and any other available space in any vehicle I am in.
Hand Grenades- These things are powerful and can change who is Mr. Awesome in a firefight in a snap. One or two in a Go Bag can go a long way. Don’t have access to hand grenades? Flash Bangs are also helpful in at least increasing your violence of action.
Medical Equipment- This doesn’t need to be a portable trauma center, but you should have enough essentials on hand to tend to 3-4 wounded personnel. Remember to carry equipment to treat what injuries you would most likely see like tourniquets, chest seals and needle decompression needles, NPAs, packs of gauze, coagulating agents and a few transformer bandaids for the guy that complains about his boo boo. Carrying some 9 Line MEDEVAC format is also a good idea and essential for getting the Helicopters in the air. REFT carries MEDEVAC stickers for your weapon, radio or Go Bag at http://www.refactortactical.com/product-p/reft-crg-medevac.htm. Keep in mind these are only suggestions (from a bunch of knuckle draggers), and you should go to your combat medic or healthcare provider for a detailed list of what to carry and how to use it.
Batteries- Optics, flashlights, IR Strobes, NVGs, GPSs, laser designators, radios, cell phones and iPods are all electronics that will go out when you need them the most. Be sure to go through your kit and find anything that requires batteries or a charge and bring a way to replenish it. Putting batteries on the back of your helmet is another great way to store them and helps to balance out your NVGS a little bit. The bottom line is you can never have too many batteries or change them out enough to ensure that your electronics will be working when you need them the most.
Water- Kind of a no-brainer. This is especially important if you might need to E&E through some drought-rode shit hole sand box. While water bladders can carry a lot of liquid, they also break easily. Nalgenes, on the other hand, are durable and can also carry whiskey if your mission turns into a party later on… Or for use with Iodine tablets, potato I guess. At the very least carry enough water to last you through a good movement and remember this is the water you only touch in an emergency.
Iodine Tablets- These things are for when the above runs out, and you need to replenish. While a water pump will taste better, these tend to be more portable.
American/UK/German/Australian/Whatever country you work for Flag- When the going gets tough, it’s always good to have some identification. This can help the friends determine if you are the foe or not and is especially important when operating undercover.
Signal Kit- Always have the ability to mark your location with big bright and shiny things. A good signaling kit should include a VF-17 panel or bright orange marking (hunter orange works as well), colored smoke, IR panel, pen flare or star cluster and an IR strobe. Remember to think P.A.C.E (Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency) when coming up with your signal plan.
Emergency Commo- Even though you carry a radio and most likely a super sweet iPhone you should also consider some emergency commo plan. As with signaling, you should come up with a P.A.C.E for communications. Things like Sat phones, local cell phones, emergency radios and cans with string on them are always a plus when your primary means of commo doesn’t work (as it most likely won’t). Be sure to get with your commo guy and listen to his excuses about how he can’t make comms because of the sun spots and misalignment of the moon to the planets is messing him up. He should be able to explain to you how all of your equipment works.
Food- Like water this stuff keeps you going during long movements. You don’t need anything substantial like a full MRE or enough food for 3 square meals. Instead, choose things that will help keep you going during an E&E like protein bars and power gels.
Survival Kit- Again don’t make this be anything crazy but be sure to have enough stuff to help you out if you have to rough the elements for a few days.
Items could include: 550 cord, duct tape, fire starters (matches and a lighter), wire, pocket knife, salt and sugar or Oral Rehydration Salts, Map of the Area, compass, handcuff key, lock pic (bobby pins work well), fishing line and hook, pencil and notepad, and a plant and animal ID guide. 550 Cord survival bracelets like the ones sold at http://www.refactortactical.com/survival-bands-s/1819.htm are also great for keeping much-needed cord on you for anything from setting a snare to tying up officers who have “a very good idea.”
Flashlight- So you can see things when it’s dark
Again these are all suggestions, and each individual should tailor each bag for their needs.
Have more ideas or comments on what to put in a Go Bag? Post them below; we always appreciate your opinions!