In Afghanistan I was mostly at a pretty remote patrol base in the Sangin river Valley, we stayed condition one with our weapons all the time even though at most of the FOBs in the area insisted that you pass by the clearing barrel and show clear once entering. Before stepping out on patrol, although I knew my weapon was loaded I still did a brass check before leaving friendly lines. So what is different in carrying a weapon in a combat zone and carrying a weapon in CONUS? Nothing.
I want to take a minute to talk about PCCs/PCIs. If you have spent any time in the military you know what it is and the importance, for everyone else, I’ll give a quick explanation, outline the importance, and give some examples.
The acronym PCC/PCI stands for pre combat checks and pre combat inspections. Checks and inspections are done by not only key leaders in your element but also yourself. In an operational setting it include things like comm checks, optics functionality, weapons/ammo, anything that requires batteries, and chow/water. In addition to inspection of mission essential equipment your key leaders will also quiz you to ensure that you knowledgeable in regards to the op order. Things like the route, immediate actions, casualty procedures, and other pertinent information like high value targets.
So why am I bringing this up? Because the same concept that is used in missions can and should be applied to your everyday life, especially if you carry a weapon. Do you step out of your home everyday without checking the gear in your bag? You need to. That pesky Murphy will take every opportunity he can to try and make you a less effective fighter, and to add insult to injury, he will do it at the most inconvenient time. Some of these things you may already do without noticing like ensuring you have a good charge on your phone and making sure you have the appropriate equipment but what else can you do. Here is a list of things I do a quick check of before I leave the house.
- Check all weapons for functionality and condition one (do a press check before you leave the house)
- Check magazines for functionality, shake it and if something is rattling you may have a problem
- Check wallet for all cards and ID’s
- Check the mount point in you holster, sometimes screws get loose
- Make sure your flashlight works
- Make sure you have a phone charger and extra charge source
- Go over you daily plan mentally and identify key events and times
- Mentally go over routes and check traffic report