Articles & Discussions


Welcome to the Special Tactics Articles and Discussions page. We encourage all readers to post their own comments and feedback, positive or negative. We don’t claim to have all the answers and we learn a great deal from our readers. Everyone in the tactical community should have thick skin so do not hesitate to argue your points forcefully while keeping things professional. Arguing in a constructive, professional manner makes us all better. Most importantly, do not post any classified or sensitive information that might be dangerous in the wrong hands. Feel free to post comments either on this site or on our Facebook page.

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Advanced CQB Part 1: What is Advanced CQB?

In the coming weeks and months, Special Tactics will be releasing a series of articles, online courses, and books covering the topic of “Advanced Close Quarters Battle.” This first article is a primer to understand what Advanced CQB is and what it is not. Those who follow the evolution of CQB tactics will agree that […]

Special Tactics First Live, In-Person Course

Special Tactics is honored to host a 5-day Hostage Negotiation training course from world-renowned hostage negotiation expert Jack Cambria, former commander of the NYPD's Hostage Negotiation Team. The course will be conducted at the OmniWarrior Training Center in Manassas, VA from 25-29 March 2019. Send an email to to register today. ABOUT THE COURSE:  Course [...]

School/Church Defense (Part 3): Auxiliary Security Assets

The first installment of our four-part article on school/church defense focused on the importance of integrating three elements into a cohesive plan of action: On-site armed guards, auxiliary security/support personnel, and local law enforcement. Last week, the second installment focused on seven suggestions for employing armed guards for school defense and integrating them into a […]

School/Church Defense (Part 2): Armed Guard Employment

Last week’s article on school and church defense focused on the importance of integrating three elements into a cohesive plan of action: On-site armed guards, auxiliary security/support personnel, and local law enforcement. In this second part of the 4-part article, we will focus on seven suggestions for employing armed guards for school defense and integrating […]

School/Church Defense (Part 1): An Integrated Approach

What mission could be more important than protecting America’s children at the schools where they go to learn each day? Equally important is protecting our places of worship where families and communities come together to strengthen their faith and moral values. These two missions are very similar and critically important to our nation’s continued growth […]

Defensive Planning (Part 1): Contingency Planning and Threat Courses of Action

The fundamentals for planning a good defense are the same, whether you are a military planner preparing to defend South Korea, a law enforcement/security professional assigned to secure a compound/event, or a citizen trying to defend your home and family from an intruder. This article is the first in a 3-part series on defensive planning. […]

DISCUSSION: How to Train with Limited Resources

INTRODUCTION For this week’s discussion, we would like to hear your ideas for how to conduct, realistic and effective training, despite the ever-present challenges of limited resources. While a small number of units might have a virtually unlimited budget, abundant ammunition, expansive training facilities, and plenty of training time, the vast majority of military units, […]

A Good Selection Course Never Ends

According to the Special Tactics philosophy, two critical factors have a greater impact on combat performance than any other: training and selection. While we have written several online articles on training, we have yet to cover selection. The following article offers some concepts and guidelines that can help any unit (regardless of size) improve its […]

DISCUSSION: How Important is Stopping Power?

INTRODUCTION This is the first of a new series of Special Tactics online discussions. As always, there are no “right” answers since everything depends on mission requirements and individual preferences. However, that doesn’t mean that it is not valuable to share your preferences with others and more importantly, explain why you hold those preferences. It […]

The Biggest Obstacle to Tactical Progress… and How to Beat It

In our opinion, the biggest obstacle to tactical progress is the fact that when tactical professionals get together to train or share ideas, they often waste most of their time arguing with each other and have little to show for it at the end of the day. We would imagine that almost every tactical professional […]

Combat Fitness (Part 2): Performance Evaluations

INTRODUCTION: This second installment in our three-part article on combat fitness provides some examples and suggestions for how to develop “combat performance evaluations.” The article is drawn from Special Tactics’ upcoming book Comprehensive Combat Fitness Training which is now available for preorder. If you have not yet read PART 1 of this three-part article, we […]

Winning the Fight: Managing Uncertainty

How can we prepare for the unexpected? Whether you are a military leader, law enforcement officer, or a citizen trying to protect your home, attempting to answer this question is critically important for your success. All the great military theorists in history, from Sun Tzu to Carl von Clausewitz, have emphasized the uncertainty of combat, […]

High-Intensity Urban Combat Tactics

How must urban combat tactics change if the United States and its allies find themselves in a high-intensity conventional war against a modern, combined arms force like Russia, China, or North Korea? This is one of the questions that our new Squad-Level Military Urban Combat manual intends to answer. While many tactics and general principles […]

Combat Fitness (Part 1): A Mission-Focused Approach

Many debates on tactical fitness focus on the question of which exercises or routines are the most effective. We believe this is the wrong question to be asking. The more important question is, how do we measure whether a fitness program actually improves effectiveness in a given mission set? In the new manual Comprehensive Combat […]

We Have Fire Drills… Why Not Active Shooter Drills?

Terrorist attacks have increased dramatically across the United States and Europe and it is unlikely that the frequency and lethality of attacks will diminish soon. It is important to remember that if our society becomes overly terrorized, fearful or paranoid, we are giving the terrorists a moral victory. However, there is a difference between paranoia […]

DISCUSSION: Limited Penetration vs. Points of Domination

DEBATE TOPIC: In preparation for the release of our new Law Enforcement Close Quarters Battle manual, this debate compares the traditional points of domination room entry technique with limited penetration techniques. This debate is important to the new manual since the manual takes a balanced approach that is designed to be flexible enough to be […]

DISCUSSION: The Best Way to “Slice the Pie”

The tactical concept of “slicing the pie” has been around for many years and is known by several names including “threshold evaluation,” and “angled clearing.” Special Tactics prefers the simple term “sweep” to describe the movement and advocates a slightly different approach to its execution than what is taught by some other tactical schools. The […]

Good Training vs. Bad Training

Quality tactical training is essential for keeping our military and law enforcement professionals at the top of their game. However, many training courses, schools, and unit-level training exercises fall short and fail to achieve truly sustainable performance enhancement. What is the difference between good training and bad training? What follows is a simple list of […]

DISCUSSION: Close Stack vs. Dispersed Stack

DEBATE TOPIC: This debate compares two different ways to stack on a door while conducting urban operations. While these techniques each have several names, we will refer to them as the “close stack” and the “dispersed stack.” For security reasons, keep the discussion at the conceptual level and use general terms. Do not reveal specific […]

Maneuver Warfare: Common Misconceptions

“Maneuver Warfare Theory,” commonly associated with Air Force Colonel John Boyd and military historian Bill Lind, has always been a controversial topic. Proponents of Maneuver Warfare are often labeled as mavericks who have trouble conforming to military culture and discipline. In turn, “Maneuverists” often brand their opponents as uncreative micromanagers who can only win with […]

DISCUSSION: Low-Ready vs. High-Ready

DEBATE TOPIC: This is the first of many debates that will be hosted by Special Tactics. Debate topics will cover everything from individual skills to battalion-sized combined arms operations. This first debate compares the “low-ready” weapon carry technique to the “high-ready” weapon carry technique. DEFINITION OF THE LOW-READY: To assume the low-ready positon, a shooter […]

Tactics… The Missing Link in Military Education

“For a study by an American of the art and science of tactics, one must go back almost to the turn of the century, when tactics was the subject debated by naval officers.” –       Captain Wayne P. Hughes Jr. USN (Ret.), Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, 1999 Why are there so few books or references […]