My Observations on Survival

Discussion in 'Mental Preparedness' started by Para173, Oct 6, 2016.

My Observations on Survival 5 5 1votes
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  1. Para173

    Para173 Well-Known Member
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    When I was younger I did 19 months in combat in Viet Nam. War is the ultimate survival situation. I was in a paratrooper unit, the 173D Airborne, while stationed there. The 173D saw a LOT of action. At one reunion the main speaker, a colonel, said, "There were about 10,000 men who served in the 173D Airborne Brigade. Of that 10,000 over 6,000 were awarded Purple Hearts for injuries received in combat. Another 3,000 should have been awarded Purple Hearts but for one reason or another they were overlooked or forgotten." Basically what the colonel said in his own way was that about 90% of the paratroopers were wounded, small and large injuries, in combat while fighting the communists adversaries.

    What I learned in my combat survival situation is that survival is a combination of things. First off survival is about having options. The more options you have the more comfortable your life will be. The more secure and safe your life will be. The more options you have the better your odds of surviving will be too. Another thing involved in survival is determination. I once did 11 recon missions in a row. Each mission was 4 days in length. So that meant I lived, worked, sweated, slept and pulled 11 recon missions wearing the same uniform for the entire length of the 11 missions. I had no options for switching clothes. That meant I had to be determined to complete my mission NO MATTER WHAT. When I could, I would hit any body of water like a stream, creek or large water puddle to just be able to wash some of the stink off of me when I got the chance. At the end, I finally got back to our rear area, ripped off my fatigues and tossed them in the garbage can. They were too far gone to try to save.

    In addition to what I have mentioned so far, sacrifice is also another item that a person in a survival situation will have to contend with and meet. When I talk sacrifice I mean that sometimes if you are part of a team you'll have to give up something of your own for the good of another member of the team. Let's say you are part of a 6 man recon team and Joe comes down sick. You know that he feels lousy and shouldn't be standing watch because he's feeling miserable. So, what do you do? Quietly you take his watch for him. Later on you tell him that one day, when he feels better, that he can pay you back. So you sacrificed some of your own personal time to help a buddy. But sacrifice can come in other ways. You might share your last cigarette with a buddy, a drink from your last pack of cocoa or coffee or maybe a drink from your last swig of water.

    In a survival situation anything, including doing nothing at all, can get you killed. That then means that in order to survive you have GOT to make the right decision at the right time. If you are one second off, either too soon or too later, you can get killed. So that means that you have to also be precise in a survival situation. Precise and accurate are the same thing when it comes to living through a mess.

    Surprise is also your ally too. If you can surprise an enemy or unsuspecting person or group of people, you can overwhelm them with a smaller element. Recon teams in Viet Nam used to, sometimes, shoot their way into enemy basecamps. The enemy would position their basecamps near a body of water, like a stream, and place their main position on a ridgeline. The recon team would locate the main position, shoot their way into the main position and just scare the heck out of the enemy. Once the recon team was in the main position, that was when the helicopter gunships would show up and shoot up the area around the recon team. Reinforcements would be airlifted out to support the recon team and before long that whole ridgeline would be in the hands of American paratroopers. What started off as 6 men ended up being a surprise to a group of 400 enemy soldiers who got scared and fled as best as they could before more helicopters arrived on the scene.

    There are other things which also come into play when a person is in the survival situation. These items I have mentioned are just a few of the ones that I found to be the most important ones.
     
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  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I have the greatest respect for people who served in the forces, but no respect for the politicians who sent them to war, and kept their own children safe at home.
    having said that, war is a different thing to a civilian event at home. war is a constant combat situation, whereas survival after an event in one's own country could have long periods of tedium and boredom. and a lot of hard physical labour.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Good post Para, but I suggest that people avoid a fire fight if they can. Keep a low profile. Survival can be tough enough without picking a fight.
    Keith.
     
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  4. Para173

    Para173 Well-Known Member
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    Something to consider: survival is survival. That's why the military will bring in civilian survival experts to help train military personnel on the art of survival. There is no difference between survival in the military and surviving in a bad situation as a civilian. When the military puts together a manual they seek opinions from all sorts of people to include civilians who know the material. That's why they used specialists to put together the atomic bombs in WW2. That's why they used civilian competition shooters to help establish sniper programs. So, the military survival plans are the same that civilians use and vice versa.
     
  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    in a civilian event removing oneself from any area of conflict would be the best policy, getting into a fight, whether that is a fire fight, a knife fight or a fist fight is in my opinion an action of last resort. avoiding such a course of action is better, isolation and flight away from areas of population and conflict is the wisest action.
     
  6. Para173

    Para173 Well-Known Member
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    Lonewolf, avoiding conflict is a good thing. You're right about that. The smart man will often avoid trouble when he can. Problem is that sometimes circumstances will force us to take action whether we are civilians just trying to get along in life or military/veterans moving about an area.
     
  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    you've obviously had to take action as a military person, I have gone out of my way to avoid trouble if at all possible, last time I had to confront someone face to face was with a Hells Angel "prospect" opening his mouth when he shouldn't have and that was 25 years ago. I've usually just walked away from others if it appears an altercation is about to happen, I keep myself to myself and don't get involved. i'm already in an area most people would call remote with a very low population.
    because of my appearance and stature, most people avoid me and take a different route.
    I once had a person try to throw themselves through a shop window just to avoid me, and I was only walking down the road minding my own business!!
     
  8. Para173

    Para173 Well-Known Member
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    As to my ability to "take action..." For the life of me, more often than not I was put in positions where I had no option. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up, get a nice quiet civilian job making tractor parts, get married and have the almost obligatory 2.5 children. Viet Nam came along and over here we had the draft. The draft was involuntary service in the military for a minimum of 2 years when your service number got called up by the local draft board. I knew that sooner or later I would end up being drafted so I just enlisted out of high school to get the job I wanted rather than have my life tore apart later on. From there it's just been more and more action for me. I have determined that fate is a critter that marches some people down a certain path by prodding them with a bayonet at the end of a rifle, like me. I pretty much had no option in what all I did over the years. And that's how things will sometimes go for a person in a survival situation. They will have to take a chance when they don't want to do so or take action when they would rather not.
     
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  9. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    yes we had the draft here in WW2 although it was referred to as being "called up" here. both my father and my grandfather served in the army, WW2 and WW1 respectively.
    as for survival, don't "take chances", make decisions instead, there is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" decision, just decisions, make your choice and go with it.
     
  10. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Matey !
    A "SOLDIER" is paid to follow orders and risk his/her life in carrying them out!

    A "SURVIVALIST" is paid by none, has no orders to carry out, and will not risk his/her life in doing so!

    If "YOU" can see no difference then sir you are well and truly "BLIND" !
     
  11. Para173

    Para173 Well-Known Member
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    Arkane, wake up and smell the coffee, pal. Survival is survival. Anybody in a survival situation will forage for food, hunt for food, go fishing and check out the local plant life for something to eat. Military people augment their military food with local vegetables and fresh fruit when they can get it. Civilian survivalists also tap into local food sources for fresh food and vegetables too. I think that you are confusing a military mission with survival. With a military mission, yes, soldiers DO have to follow orders and take action. If a unit attacks then that is a military mission for that unit. But, otherwise, soldiers like civilians are survivalists like everybody else.
     
  12. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    NO Sir survival is not just survival thanks!

    Why is it that most ex military seem to think that being ex military makes them so farking better than anyone else!

    I wont argue the point any more as I have forgotten how to grunt!
     
  13. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    I believe that military experience is a great plus but one cannot deny that civilians are necessary. Medical, intelligence, logistics and the engineering aspects of the force are generally non combatant, but absolutely essential for the long term survival of any soldier. I think that in order to survive you need to be a little bit of everything. Surviving the initial fallout is great but won't do you much good if you die weeks later from starvation. I guess the more diverse your skill set in your group is the better your chances of making it. Yes survival is survival but military and police are the first people i am going to avoid in a SHTF situation. They will poses the means to relieve you of your resources and sure as hell won't stick to protocol. I have heard stories of how they misused their power to benefit themselves. What happens when there is simply no more food to feed the troops, an army marches on its stomach and commanding officers know it. But I know desperate people will put their lives on the line to defend their property or attain what they need. No question about it.
     
  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    unless they are being paid or they AND their families are being fed, just how many will even report for duty? very few, at the end of the day they are all human beings and their families will come before duty or patriotism.
    in Britain the Troops number 81,700 and the Police number 136,000 nationally( although these numbers are continually being cut) this to police a population of 65 million and counting? dream on, they'll be lucky if they can keep control of London and one or two of the bigger cities, in the far rural south west it is a well know fact that we will be left on our own to get on with it as best we can, heck the politicians don't even know the far south west exists unless its an election year, they call it the "Westminster bubble" for a reason!!
     
  15. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    During and for some time after any event police will still be police! on duty, off duty or AWOL they will still see everything as a law and order issue!
    So the bloke you bashed trying to steal your stuff/kill you still has rights and you will need to be detained! etc etc!

    Military and ex-military will feel the need to take control, contain and disarm civilians etc etc!
    Local gov employees will still try to do there now meaningless jobs!
    Mayors will still be pompus gits after as they were before! and try to assume power over their domain etc!
    Same with child service feminazi's

    All the above should be steered clear of!

    The more benign people will be the local tradies, butchers, bakers, mechanics etc who will in most cases still be trying to make a living as before!

    Sounds Absurd yes but people are people and they do what they know!

    Local crims/druggies will probably in most cases upscale what they do too!
     
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  16. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    Perhaps that is just it. Together they can asure the odds are greatly improved to feed their families. If I was in command i would advocate this strategy. They don't need to keep everywhere but if they can hold on to a tactical position and raid and advance from there... I have heard that you guys have a great problem with security issues but those numbers are terrible. I hope politicians go first... The most useless profession on our planet. I am not sure how many police officers we have but they are a dangerous bunch. They have been advised by our minister of police to shoot to kill and they often do. Our military is an embarrassment. Not a even a shadow of what it use to be. Its sad but will be advantageous in the days to come.
     
  17. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    our military has been cut and cut over the years, regiments have been disbanded or amalgamated. police numbers-especially in my part of the country-have been cut in half and police stations are being closed, within 5 years we wont have a rural police station left, only in the cities.
     
  18. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    "If I was in command i would advocate this strategy"

    That's it right there! NO ONE will be in command! and most everyone will want or think they should be in "COMMAND"
    there will be many little tin pot hitlers poping up everywhere trying to impose there way! some with more success than others!
    The old leaders if still alive will want to maintain what they got and new ones will want to expand!
     
  19. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    Y
    Yeah, I know. Ruthless warlords will be a pain to deal with.
     
  20. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    Not over here though. Our government is trying to push up the employment figures for political reasons and employment in government institutions have ballooned to crazy numbers. The police constantly take in new recruits
     
  21. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    good enough reason to get out of the cities, now.
     
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  22. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    I couldn't agree more.
     
  23. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    not over here, if your over 50 no one wants to employ you, they want to employ under age kids and migrants so they can pay them cheap wages.
     
  24. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    I am trying to. Even towns are problematic.
     
  25. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    yes, the large ones are. same attitudes still prevail.
     
  26. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Too right about employment! but I am now over four weeks into a new job and going strong! 58yo next month and looking on the up after 2 years unemployed!
     
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  27. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    Very true! But it improves my chances of employment... Or so I hear.
     
  28. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    When I said the government employs people en mass, I meant BBBEE. (Broader Based Black Economic Empowerment, which makes finding a job crazy difficult. I have been looking for a year.

    Over here i depends on the individual company some say 55 and others 60. Although I used to work with an old Sargeant Major who at the time was 72. They couldn't fire him as he had expertise that none of the engineers had (and still does).
     
  29. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    Well done!

     
  30. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    i think its a good job I am not longer in the job market, no one would employ me and nobody did so I went self employed, now retired.
     
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  31. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    I tell you it is harsh out there. At least you managed to start a business of your own and managed to sustain yourself until you were able to retire. Even if there isn't some form of disaster, most of us will have to work until we die or exit the system somehow. I don't imagine many of my peers will taste financial freedom in their lifetime.
     
  32. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    sounds like you've got enough problems where you are, never mind employment problems as well, I meant just staying alive.
     
  33. Mekada

    Mekada Master Survivalist
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    No one ever said that the equilibrium of life would always be easy my friend... Sometimes things will go great and other times they really, really don't.
     
  34. Para173

    Para173 Well-Known Member
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    Worldwide the problems are pretty much the same. Lack of trust to authority figures (soldiers, police and elected or appointed officials) and self appointed leaders who fill in a void in areas where nobody is in command or control. All this comes together to make survivalists the cautious, leery people who won't trust a lot of people when or if things go bad. I mean face it, would you be willing to trust a possible Attila the Hun leading some outlaw gang? I wouldn't. I would rather strike out on my own and leave behind those who would try to rule a kingdom of ashes and ruins.
     
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  35. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I trust no one now, that's my nature, in a SHTF situation the last person we should trust is a stranger.
    I seem to remember a quote from Ronald Regan which is often quoted in these circumstances, some thing along the lines off..... the most chilling statement in the English language is : "i'm from the government and i'm here to help!"
     
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  36. Para173

    Para173 Well-Known Member
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    Lonewolf, think about this: You are quoting an elected official that you probably would not trust if things go bad...
     
  37. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    its just a saying, an attempt at humour, but it has a ring of truth in it.
     
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  38. Para173

    Para173 Well-Known Member
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    I was also teasing you. I think you got that.
     
  39. sunnytn

    sunnytn Well-Known Member
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  40. sunnytn

    sunnytn Well-Known Member
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    First of all, thank you for serving our country, and thank you for sharing your experience.
     
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  41. Rere

    Rere New Member
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    sounds like you've got enough problems where you are, never mind employment problems as well, I meant just staying alive.
     
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