About the author : Dennis O'Connor

Dennis O'Connor's areas of expertise: A six year enlistment in the US Army. Law enforcement, SWAT, drug, vice and organized crime, and the training of police canines among others that are complimented by his over twenty five years of law enforcement service.

Physical fitness, range training scars, fundamentals, and about becoming a great tactician.

Good tactical training should always end in mastering the “Why” and in a fundamental understanding.

I think there are a few things that should be more communicated in the world of tactical training.

First, physical fitness is paramount, especially how it relates to performance and decision-making. 

Understanding sustainment training vs attending training is also very important.

And of course: We need a better understanding of range training scars.

Because your physical fitness can be excellent, your training perfectly adjusted, but if you leave the range with training scars, you will be in trouble when it counts the most.

All training, no matter how realistic, isn’t real combat.

If we perform in a real combat situation bad habits from a safe training environment it could (and mostly will) end up fatally.

Instructors really have to look into bad habits on the range and make sure that students leave the training without them.

These first three aspects are fundamental and the essence of a good and realistic training philosophy. 

What makes good tactical training?

The next aspect is a bit more about teaching the mind and a general understanding of what we do.

Good training should always end in mastering the “Why” and in fundamental understanding.

That’s what we train for.

It also means to balance well “tactical theory vs vetted theory“ … and put it into action!

If you put all these pieces together, you will get the right answer for “What makes good tactical training?“

It’s all about becoming a great tactician.

That’s the goal.

Any instructor who understands these crucial elements of good training and why they matter in what we do will be a great trainer for our brothers and sisters in uniform.

Living human beings behind the badge

Also, I want to mention PTSD and suicide among law enforcement.

It is real.

And it is important to talk about it.

We have to make everybody to understand better that the job doesn’t mean just to wear a uniform and to carry a firearm.

There are living human beings behind the badge.

Humans who work under tremendous stressful conditions.

Who put their own lives into the line.

And who see the worst of what humans can do or be.

If you think, that this kind of work keeps people without scars… physical, emotional, spiritual scars… you are wrong. 

I ask everybody to be more open, more conscious, about what it means to carry that burden.

Without judgment.

Just listen sometimes, lend a hand, or take the signs seriously.

We can‘t let alone our best men and women who save us from the worst every day.

Be aware and be a friend.

GTI Magazine

Read another free article written by Dennis O‘Connor in GTI Magazine May 2020.

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Article Photos by Dave Young