By GTI Senior Instructor Doyle Burdette
If you're gonna be a bear, be a Grizzly!" That was one of my Dad's favorite quotes, and I heard it often as I was growing up. I later learned it is a quote from Mahatma Ghandi. My dad would say this anytime I was involved with any endeavor which required my total commitment and my best and most valiant effort. This saying would come to mind many times in my military and my law enforcement career.
I have used this quote many times in classes I have taught to try to drive home a point. It is all about mindset. As a tactical team member you have to be able to flip that switch at a moment's notice and be a Grizzly. You have to be able to put behind you the mantle of the sheepdog protecting the sheep and assume the vicious single minded purpose of the wolf killer.
We need to have this mindset when dealing with those who threaten the law and order that we represent. We must steel our mind to the fact there are those who want to hurt us. There are those who hate and despise our culture, our values and our beliefs. There are those who sincerely believe that it is their duty to kill us and our children. There have been volumes written and many classes are taught on tactical mindset. That is because it is vital to the tactical team member and anyone who wants to tip the scales of a life or death encounter in their favor. It is as important as our physical fitness, our marksmanship and our tactics. Without that Grizzly mindset we are just another officer with a gun and training. The Grizzly mindset separates us from the regular officer. It is also what gives us the ability to bring ourselves and others home alive.
I have seen this in real life and I have seen it in training. Officers can be trained and know the tactics to use. They can shoot better than anyone else on the team and quote the policy manual verbatim. But the Grizzly mindset brings everything together. That mindset is what brings their knowledge, training and experience together in a lethal and life-saving package. Our training must coincide with this fact. Our training must provoke the Grizzly mindset.
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