Tactical Response: How it Pertains to the Individual by Michael Aloia

Your definition or personal interpretation of tactical response, of course, would have a great bearing on many levels and weigh on one’s own history, experience and exposure, association, and level of understanding and ability to apply concepts and procedures related to such endeavors. Experience ranging from military duty, law enforcement service, and/or medical field involvement can be a deciding factor in the defining of what tactical response is and how one should be properly and thoroughly approached and carried out ‐ whether it is team or individual maneuvers.

It should be agreed that the better the expertise, the better the tactical response. By word grouping alone, the term “tactical response” implies precision, focus, and a higher application of skill. “Tactical” is defined as a means of less magnitude carried out with an immediate end. Going further to the root word “tactic” – a method for employing or a device for accomplishing an arrangement of specified directed movement. Basically, planning with a purpose.

“Response” is the output resulting from a given input stimulation. The word “respond,” used as a noun, refers to an engaged support pillar. Response also implies something far greater than an action and something most certainly more fine-tuned than a natural reaction. Though reactions are fast and better than no reaction at all, a response is the ability to take a reaction and make it efficient and effective. Thus, creating a means of support an individual, a team, and a community can count on in times of need and deployment.

Tactical response can be a show of force or strength as it would pertain to certain circumstances resulting in that form of output. However, the need for that output to be internally stable and well-balanced and defined is the critical factor‐it is the deciding factor.  Externally factors include physical attributes and the means and abilities to carry them out. It includes the mechanical and technological apparatus to maintain those abilities up‐to-date, relative, and competitive to those factors which choose to oppose the status of peace in society. However, more importantly, and what should be considered the key ingredient that acts like the bonding agent, holding it all together, comes internally.  It is the individual and their ability to put these factors all together and into action – mentally and spiritually. It is their insertion of the training they received, in such pertinent or dire situations, which places them in the position of responsibility, making them best suited for the job. The ability to define, refine and resolve is not only their duty in such times, but their demeanor and approach to life.

Response is a well-honed action/reaction that is now second nature. It is the criterion that lays a solid foundation of standards and practices, principles and attributes and a code of conduct. It is the means to an end. There is always point and purpose.  No action or reaction is impulsive.  Being tactical places one in a planned and focused state to properly execute the proper, the appropriate and the needed responses. The tipping of the scale, then, lies in the way the training is interpreted and ingested by those taking on the position of tactical responder.  As a baseline, the training is the nurturing hand that molds and directs the individual to greatness.  The individual must certainly possess the intelligence and comprehension to fill the position, but also the desire, drive and passion to make it more than just a position. The latter is what separates the doers from the makers, and the followers from the leaders.  The training can only offer the material, as the instructor can only offer an example of experience – all presented in a manner that is understandable.  The lesson is learned only if the student, the individual, permits it to be so.  The lesson is ingrained, then, through the journey of their own experience. Thus, before the outward example of the lessons learned can be demonstrated, the inward accumulation of personal point and purpose must be attained.  External factors, such as the training itself, the physical output and even the mechanical and technological gadgets, are mere distractions or worse yet, things to hide behind and mask inefficiencies.  Their purpose is to enhance and streamline the process and execution, not to make up for it.  The central navigator is the individual or individuals making the calls, weighing the options, and determining the best possible courses.  All the training in the world and all the gadgets to go with it cannot replace the ability to think – there is no substitute for the human factor.  There is no proxy for mindful awareness. The mindful familiarity to knowing what one is capable of and what is at one’s disposal is tactical awareness.

Many modern-day standards and practices derive from times when necessity and survival were paramount.  Tactical responses have always been part of our legacy and existence.  Military concepts or martial ways have always played a leading role in our endurance and way of life.  What was once theory was given way to practicality as it was tried and tested out on the battlefields.  Trial and error polished thought to realism. Yet all the while, at the helm, stood the individual and their ability to think and respond on their feet.  Advancements made in the mind are then given life in the world by those who choose to do something about it.  Responses are only as good as the one who is responding otherwise it may just add more noise to the chaos.

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