A LESC Discourse: Establishing the Discipline to Train and Invest in Preparedness is an ongoing series of articles discussing training and preparedness, learning, unlearning and relearning to develop insight, innovation and initiative to deal with conventional and unconventional problems and threats.
“You must control your soldiers with esprit de corps. You must bring them together by winning victories. You must get them to believe in you. Make it easy for people to know what to do by training your people. Your people will obey you. If you do not make it easy for people to know what to do, you won’t train your people. They will not obey. Make your commands easy to follow. You must understand the way the crowd thinks.” ~Sun Tzu
If I was to ask you about let’s say coaching a high school foot ball team for your local high school and told you the only time you were needed to be there as coach, was on game day. That is right no practice during the week, just take the team and win is all we ask. How do I prepare them if I cannot practice you ask? Well sir they have been trained and practiced in their freshman, softmore and junior years. You will be the varsity coach and the team knows the game and how it’s played, all you need to do is set up the game plan on game day and organize your team so they win! Ludicrous! How can I be expected to develop the cohesion necessary to put a winning team on the field, without practice, despite their prior training and the three-plus year’s experience? Yes it is ludicrous. Yet this is exactly what we expect of law enforcement, security personnel and other first responders tasked with responding to and winning in crises situations.
Training initially consists of developing a knowledge base in the basic aspects of the job, take for instance law enforcement. Subjects such as; law and procedures, report writing, patrol procedures, community policing, basic firearms training, some building entry techniques as well as some specialized training in domestic violence, operating under the influence of alcohol, arrest procedures and defensive tactics etc. These are a great base of knowledge to start with and build on, yet therein lay the problem. There is not very much building upon the basics. Most is left to learning via on the job training.
“But what if nothing we have ever been taught or experienced is sufficient to the problem we face? Understanding the essence of winning and losing and rethinking our methods of training formally and informally must change. The nature of Conflict has changed, how we think must change, how we prepare must change, how we orient and reorient ourselves in an uncertain environment must change if we are to be successful.” ~Ed Beakley Anti-Terrorist and Homeland Security Specialist
The world has changed and conflict and how it’s waged is blurred. Crime and terrorism are now linked and actors utilize national, international and transnational networks to implement their strategies and tactics as we have already seen here at home and abroad. The threats and crime trends we deal with are not as clearly defined as they once were and the stakes are higher, much higher than points scored in a game. Our adversaries have us on scattered ground with our resources spread thin and leaving the Homeland open and easier to attack. This is a dangerous situation, strategically and tactically out of position. We must get serious and invest in preparing our people through training.
3.0 A LESC Discourse will look at: Training People an Investment in Preparedness