Commander’s Intent (The Tactical Edge, Winter 2008, pp. 52-54)

An effective operational plan focuses the efforts of each individual toward a common objective.  This unity of effort is the most crucial aspect of any tactical operation and the responsibility falls squarely on the senior commander.  Because most tactical operations...
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Command and Control (4-4) (The Tactical Edge, Spring 2005, pp. 42-44)

The importance of command has been known from early history when more than two-thousand years ago, Philip of Macedon, (the father of Alexander the Great), is reported to have said, “An army of deer led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a...
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OpFor Gaming (The Tactical Edge, Winter 2010, pp. 50-52)

During the First Peloponnesian War nearly 2,500 years ago, Pericles was giving a speech to the Athenians when he stated that “I am more afraid of our own mistakes than our enemies’ designs.”[1]  In truth, most tactical operations and disaster responses fail not...
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Adaptive Decision Making (The Tactical Edge, Spring, 2013, pp. 82-84)

All crises are fraught with uncertainty.  While uncertainty must be reduced to the maximum possible extent, it can never be completely eliminated.  Accordingly, efforts will always be necessary to deal with the unexpected.  Effective leaders are compelled to...
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Legitimacy – The 10th Principle

As Sid wrote in Field Command, “Neglecting or ignoring the principle of legitimacy is a recipe for disaster. In fact, win or lose, legitimacy can be the decisive element when actions are examined after the fact.” In recent use of force decisions, findings of...
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Get the complete set of Field Guides and Forms TODAY! Field Reference Guides Each of these guides are a compilation of scientific terms and concepts concentrating on a single subject.  The terms and concepts are also grouped by topic in the way they interact with one...
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Swarming Tactics (The Tactical Edge, Spring, 2011, pp. 54-58)

Of all the situations that require an intervention by law enforcement, conflicts, are by far, the most dangerous and complex.  This is because conflicts involve one or more adversaries who are in active opposition of the efforts to restrain them.[1]  Some types of...
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Information Evaluation (The Tactical Edge, Summer, 2013, pp. 86-87)

Decisions are often called the “building blocks” of tactical operations in that each, by themselves, rests upon others to build the structure.  Using the same metaphor, the information upon which decisions are based constitutes the functional equivalent of the mortar...
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Task Saturation (The Tactical Edge, Winter 2004, p. 58)

Every mission in a tactical operation involves an almost infinite number of tasks, and depending on how, in what order, and when these tasks are performed, there is also an endless amount of permutations possible as each task affects another.  Many of these tasks are...
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Command Relationships (The Tactical Edge, Fall, 2011, pp. 82-85)

Every tactical operation is overseen by an organization specifically designed to assign and direct critical personnel and equipment to resolve an unfolding crisis.  Sociologists refer to these organizations as emerging multi-organizational networks (EMONs).[1]  One...
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About Field Command

Field Command is a company founded by retired police officers with a desire to pass on the lessons learned from years of practical experience in handling tactical operations and disaster responses.Likewise, they have extensive military backgrounds and are not only experienced but thoroughly grounded in the doctrinal science that supports sound planning and decision making. Using the military metaphor, they all have “muddy boots” from being in the trenches and can personally explain what worked and what didn’t. Even more importantly, however, they can explain why. This single word has become a mantra for explaining the reason such a focus is needed.


Law enforcement has become a highly specialized and complex function and teaching the multitude of essential skills is both costly and time-consuming. Accordingly, nearly all law enforcement training is focused on what to do and how to do it rather than why it is necessary. While these boilerplate responses will suffice for repetitive situations, they leave decision makers with no other options when they do not understand why something is important (or not). This can easily lead to disaster when a commander applies a solution designed for one set of circumstances but which is woefully inadequate for the current one. As Abraham Maslow noted, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you have to think of every problem as a nail.”

Incident commanders, planners, and decision makers involved in handling crises of all sorts are far better able to recognize and understand the factors and influences in play if they have first mastered the science that identifies them and explains their significance. Understandably, they are also more capable of adapting and improvising when conditions change. We don’t make any claims on knowing “the” way to do these things but we can tell you a 100 ways on how not to do them. Hence, if you just avoid the things that we know that don’t work you’ll start where we left off!