Constraints vs. Restraints (The Tactical Edge, Summer 1995, p. 61)

Every plan is developed within certain guidelines. These limitations may involve political, environmental, tactical or economic considerations. Since no plan is entirely free of influencing factors, it is necessary to have an understanding of them in order to devise a...

Principles of War: The Apocrypha (The Tactical Edge, Winter, 2013, pp. 68-70)

Principles are fundamental laws or truths from which insight and understanding can be derived.  They are not rules, per se, but rather generalizations that serve to focus attention and provide guidance.  The “nine principles of war”[1] have been used to understand...

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...

Force Multiplier (The Tactical Edge, Spring 2007, pp. 56-57)

An implied objective of every tactical intervention is to impose the will of the commander.[1]  Like other tactical principles, however, what is easy in concept can be exceedingly difficult in application.  Regardless of whether the opposition is enemy forces or the...

Camouflage (The Tactical Edge, Fall 2010, pp. 50-52)

Camouflage is the term used to describe the obscuration of an object by changing the appearance to disguise its true nature or make it indistinguishable from its surroundings.  The value of camouflage in the animal kingdom is undisputed.  Camouflage works in either...

Window of Opportunity (The Tactical Edge, Summer 2007. pp. 46-48)

Even the most fledgling tactician quickly comes to understand and appreciate the significance of controlling certain types of terrain.  Terrain can provide advantages like affording observation or concealment, preventing the escape of a suspect or even protection from...

TTS Blog – Theoretical Tactical Science

TTS Blog Theoretical Tactical Science While tactical science is an applied science it is based upon doctrine gleaned from centuries of observation and analysis.  This blog is provided for intellectual discussions and research on the theoretical underpinnings of the...

SOPs and MOUs (The Tactical Edge, Fall 2007, pp. 64-66)

Arguably, the most tedious part of any forthcoming event requiring a tactical response is the crafting and authoring of the plan.  What is not in dispute is that plans are also the most indispensable part of any successful tactical operation.  In the simplest terms,...

Operations (3-4) (The Tactical Edge, Winter 2005, pp. 56-57)

While the intelligence and logistical components of a tactical organization are just as crucial, the operations component is far more conspicuous.  This is where the proverbial “rubber meets the road.”  Problems in obtaining timely and reliable intelligence or failing...

Crisis decision making is best understood as the mental process of reaching a conclusion during a time of instability and danger relevant to resolving the situation.

When tactical operations are disassembled the most conspicuous elements are decisions.  Even novices are quick to notice that the direction and tempo of every action began with a decision.  Decisions are the pivot points in these types of situations and at some point...

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.

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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!

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