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BOOK REVIEW: Tactical Wisdom: Fieldcraft Training Manual

Reviewed by: Friedrich Seiltgen

I just KNOW Gunpowder readers took my advice and got a copy of Joe Dolio’s “Baseline Training Manual.”

Dolio puts his training and wisdom into a compact manual on how to survive in a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation. His “Baseline Training Manual” teaches you the skills to achieve a baseline standard of preparedness.

For those of you who haven’t read volume one (read more here), let’s review Dolio’s bonafides: Joe Dolio is a USMC veteran with more 20 years of experience in the protection industry. He has served both as an investigations professional and a personal protection specialist. He draws from the experience and training gained over his career to develop the Tactical Wisdom Book Series.

In addition to still working in the personal protection field, Joe is an NRA-Certified Defensive Firearms Instructor, a KyoSaNim (instructor) in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do, and a Krav Maga Instructor.  He also draws on his skills as an avid outdoorsman and hunter in this series.

Now Dolio has written the second in his series of Tactical Wisdom Manuals; this one is entitled “Fieldcraft.” Fieldcraft is defined as, “the techniques involved in living, traveling, and observing from a tactical standpoint, in the field.”

Just a few of the areas Dolio covers in “Fieldcraft: are: Survival Mindset, The Gray Man, Land Navigation, and Team Organization.

Survival Mindset

In the Survival Mindset chapter, Dolio states the most important element in survival, whether in wilderness survival, or combat, is MINDSET. This is the way!

Trainers, whether they be military or law enforcement, stress this to their recruits. The will to live needs to be your foundation every day. I tell my recruit classes this constantly. The only thing you need to do when you go in service is to end your shift in the same condition you started, or better.

The Gray Man

The Gray Man concept has been around the last few years, and Dolio describes it as “[making] yourself completely unremarkable in every way.”

Many people have misconceptions of this idea and believe this tactic will work under all circumstances. Joe sets them straight, and when, as he puts it, a WROL situation occurs, the Gray Man concept goes out the window.

One of the biggest mistakes some make with the gray man concept is not fitting in to the local environment. Fit in with the area you are in! Dolio also makes a note that 5.11 gear is NOT Gray Man!  You are correct, sir! I’ve seen enough off-duty cops in 5.11 gear, and it gives them away! There was a time when the 5.11 vest was quite popular, because many alphabet agencies were using them. When we regular patrol cops saw them coming, we knew they were feds!

The Gray Man concept also includes being gray online. Joe lists commonsense tips, such as: use a VPN (virtual private network) every time, don’t share details of preparations online, and don’t share your travel plans. This last one is simple. How many times have you read about someone posting their vacation photos on social media, and when they returned home, their home had been burglarized?

Land Navigation

Dolio states that land navigation is the critical skill of being able to find your way from one point to another, using a map and compass, or natural signs to guide way. This is one area I need help with. As a young Airman Basic at Lackland AFB, recruits received zero training in land navigation. Why would we? We were going to be busy maintaining aircraft, not carrying 70 pounds of gear through the bush.

You noticed that Dolio says map and compass, right? While a GPS is convenient, remember Murphy’s Law and don’t count on it working when you need it! As Dolio says, “There is no such thing as too many maps.”

Get maps of your area and a quality compass!

Back to Basics

The “Fieldcraft Manual” is for the novice as well as the expert. Regardless of your skill level, mastery of the basics is essential! All those high-speed operators in Special Forces, Force Recon, etc. started out by learning the basics, and frequent repetition of the basics is the name of the game.

I have read comments on Dolio’s Tactical Wisdom blog (a goldmine of information) from folks who whine they “Don’t want to play soldier.” I’m sure your enemy will take that into consideration and let you fight the way YOU want to!

Folks, I can’t stress enough that time is running short, so get prepared! I have read Joe’s first two books and can’t wait for the rest of the series; I’ve even cleared shelf space in preparation! The skills Dolio covers in his “Tactical Wisdom” series are essential!

Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, Active Shooter Response, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in The Counter Terrorist Magazine, American Thinker, Homeland Security Today, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at polizei22@msn.com.

 
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