Friday, October 23, 2015


One year ago he lost his life standing guard at the National War Memorial.

There are two important lessons learned from last years terror attack in the Canadian capital:

A) The terrorists continue to attack us on our own territory,

B) If you are carrying a weapon, it makes no sense for it not to be loaded, and

It is true that the terrorist was a self-recruited local. However, it is also true that this is also besides the point; it merely points to the effectiveness of the enemy's tactics, which include unorthodox recruiting and training techniques. It is also most likely that the outcome would have been the same if Corporal Cirillo was fully armed, but I'd say its a safe bet that nowadays honor guards at monuments in North America are carrying loaded weapons.

It is also significant to note that Canada is an unarmed population; they have no 2d Amendment. Fortunately there was an armed individual within the Parliament building who could resolve the situation before more lives were taken. This leads to a third important lesson learned:

C) To stop a terrorist / mass murderer (i.e. "active shooter"), an individual armed with a gun is required.

We can't seem to get away from that.

Corporal Nathan Cirillo, RIP


Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Read a good book this week . . . here's one I helped write . . . S.L.

The types of items you carry in your survival kit will depend directly upon the environment you are operating in. Layer your survival kits; a small kit that can be carried on your body (items in your pockets, pouches fastened to your belt, lanyards around your neck), more items carried in a small backpack (your "bugout bag"), and a larger kit (packed in a rucksack and carried in the back of your vehicle). Keep important items on your body or in your small backpack, with your phone and other devices. For example; GPS, map and compass, and basic life-sustaining items (knife, lighter). Place bulky items in the rucksack, such as a tarpaulin or other shelter, cans of food, a couple gallons of water and perhaps a sleeping bag.

Items in your survival kit(s) should fall into the following categories:

• Water (filtering, purifying, storage & transportation)
• Shelter
• Food (acquisition & preservation)
• Fire
• Medical
• Signalling
• Weapon (and/or tool, and/or the means to make primitive weapons or tools)
• Miscellaneous

Each category should contain items that allow you to sustain your basic needs. For example; water - you should have items that allow you to scoop up, draw up, soak up, or suck up water; something to gather rainwater, condensation, or perspiration; something to transport water; and something to purify or filter water. Some examples of each category are as follows:

• Water - collapsible canteens or heavy duty plastic bags for carrying water; purification tablets, bleach or povidone-iodine drops (for purifying water), scarves, small towels or scarves, sponges, small plastic or rubber tubing.
• Fire - lighter, metal match, waterproof matches, magnesium bar, candle, magnifying lens.
• Shelter - parachute line (550 cord), tarpaulin or poncho, space blanket, hammock, mosquito net, wire saw.
• Food - knife, snare wire, fishhooks, fish and snare line, bouillon cubes or soup packets, high energy food bars, granola bars, gill net, aluminum foil, zip-lock bags.
• Medical - oxytetracycline tablets (to treat diarrhea or infection), surgical blades or surgical preparation knife, butterfly sutures, lip balm, safety pins, sutures, antidiarrheal medication (imodium), antimalarials (doxycycline), broad-spectrum antibiotics (rocephin and zithromax) and broad spectrum topical ophthalmic (eye) antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen), petrolatum gauze, and soap. Medical items may make up approximately 50 percent of your survival kit and could certainly be the subject of a stand-alone article.
• Signalling - signal mirror, strobe, pen flares, whistle, International Orange scarves or panels, flashlight, laser pointer, solar blanket.
• Weapon and/or tool - and/or the means to make primitive weapons or tools - even a small penknife or multi-tool can fashion primitive weapons or tools from bamboo or branches. Think of frog gigs, clubs, crossbows, or even wooden knives for killing game and preparing meat and hides. Digging tools, bamboo water containers and cookware, and walking sticks are useful tools you can easily make.
• Miscellaneous - compass, needle and thread, money, extra eyeglasses, knife sharpening stone or steel, salt, and survival manual.

Given your circumstances, you might carry a large sheath knife, machete or hatchet. Learn survival techniques in the references at the end of this article. Consider the environment in which you are working or traveling through, then prepare your survival kit(s) with items that are durable, multipurpose, and lightweight.

In preparing your survival kit, select items that are multipurpose, compact, lightweight, durable, and most importantly, functional. An item is not good if it looks great but doesn't do what it was designed for, or breaks after the first use. Items should complement each other from layer to layer. A signal mirror in your pocket can be backed up by pen flares in your personal survival kit, and a signal panel in your bug-out bag. A lighter in your pocket can be augmented by a magnesium bar in your survival kit and additional dry tinder in your bug-out bag.

Survival kits need not be elaborate. You only need functional items that will meet your needs and a container to hold the items. A soap dish, tobacco tin, first aid case, ammunition pouch, or plastic food container might be a suitable case. This case should be waterproof, easy to carry or attach to your body, suitable to accept various-sized components, and durable.

You are only limited by your imagination; indeed, creative thought combined with basic skills can replace many of the items in a kit. Combined with the will to live, it can mean the difference between surviving to return home with dignity or not returning at all.


US Army Field Manual 3-05.70 Survival (formerly FM 21-76)

The SAS Survival Guide by John “Lofty” Wiseman

The Boy Scout Handbook

12 Outdoor Survival Skillsw Every Guy Should Master

5 Basic Survival Skills You Can Practice In Your Backyard Now

Since I retired from active duty I've had my ups and downs and been knocked around a bit in this crazy world . . . nowadays I find myself right back where I started seven years ago - albeit under much better circumstances and for a significant amount more pay. Intelligence + Experience = Wisdom . . . that and a robust network will get you to where you want to go in Life - its working for me . . . cheers -


Saturday, October 3, 2015


The Moscow Rules are rules-of-thumb said to have been developed during the Cold War to be used by intelligence officers working in Moscow. The rules are associated with Moscow because the city developed a reputation as being a particularly harsh locale for clandestine operatives who were exposed . . . S.L.

  • Assume nothing.

  • Never go against your gut.

  • Everyone is potentially under opposition control.

  • Don't look back; you are never completely alone.

  • Go with the flow, blend in.

  • Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.

  • Lull them into a sense of complacency.

  • Don't harass the opposition.

  • Pick the time and place for action.

  • Keep your options open.

  • Murphy is right.

  • Any operation can be aborted. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.

  • Maintain a natural pace.

  • Build in opportunity, but use it sparingly.

  • Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. (Borrowed from Muhammad Ali)

  • There is no limit to a human being's ability to rationalize the truth.

  • Technology will always let you down.

  • Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action. (Taken from Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger)

  • Don't attract attention, even by being too careful.

  • Moscow rules are prominently referenced in John le Carré's cold war books including - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - as tradecraft, including use of inconspicuous signal markers (thumb tacks, chalk marks), the use of dead drops, and the ways to signal the need for a (rare) face-to-face meeting.