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Home > scars, survival > Are You an Educated Warrior?

Are You an Educated Warrior?

August 20th, 2009

Brawn will get you only so far.  This fact of life hits us quickly when we first start working corrections.  The physical demands of our jobs are well know, and many books have been written on how to physically protect yourself on the job.  Most of these books go over the basics of tactical placement, being combat ready, and even talk about color coded states of alertness.  What these books often fail to do is tie in your mental and physical readiness into real-life experiences.  This is where I stray from the norm.

I dont believe that I can sit down with a class in a sterile environment and teach them how to be an officer.  One of the most effective ways I can tell you how to be ready for anything, is to use mistakes that I have made, and mistakes that I have seen, and tell you about them here.  Just to give you an idea of what I mean, let me share this story with you:

Working the yard one day, one of the yard officers started up a conversation with an inmate about something trivial the inmate had done wrong.  The inmate was very defensive, and the conversation quickly went south.  As I made my way over to them, I noticed the officers’ partner standing directly behind the officer and the inmate.  The officer that was talking to the inmate then ordered the inmate to turn around and “cuff up.”  As soon as the officer took out his cuffs, the fight was on.  As I ran over to respond, I learned why you never stand directly behind your partner.  The officer realized that his handcuffs were tying up his hands, so he tossed them aside.  Unfortunately for his partner, the cuffs went directly behind the officer, striking his partner in his face.  After cuffing up the inmate, we took his partner to the hospital for some stitches.  Besides some hurt pride, everyone walked home that day; but a valuable lesson was learned. 

Looking back on it, both officers laugh when they tell the story, but I can guarantee you the next time a confrontation happens between an inmate and two officers, people will remember this story, and step to the side.

Being a warrior makes you a Correctional Officer; being an educated warrior makes you an force to be reckoned with.  I have always encouraged newer officers to prompt more experienced officers to share their “war” stories.  I encourage this in my book, knowing that this is the best way to learn.  Many times during these stories I watch with delight as the officer telling the story stand up to show his audience how everything went down.  There is no better teacher than pain.  If you are a veteran officer, share this pain, humorous or serious, with the newer officers so they do not have to make the same mistakes.  If you are new, ask your veteran partners about the best story that they have.  You will learn, I guarantee it.

Start now, use the comment section to share some of your best war stories.  The “Scars” and the “Bars” tabs at the top of my page will allow you to do the same.  I look forward to getting to you, as we learn together.

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