This intel is in regards to key strategies for enhancing your survivability in the field, helping you become a more effective and versatile intelligence operative by becoming harder to kill from direct and non-directed attacks from hostiles and incidentals.
Being “hard to kill” typically means being able to protect yourself from physical / psychological attacks and survive through otherwise deadly situations. It’s to be resistant to lethal measures taken against you.
Covert operatives should train to detect surveillance (being followed), generally recognize potential threats and determine when their cover might be blown. Tradecraft techniques and standard operating procedures to stay safe and secure.
Maintaining a high level of situational awareness, constantly scanning your environment for anything unusual or out of place. Paying attention to people, vehicles and any other elements in their surroundings that could pose a threat. Establishing a baseline understanding of the normal behavior and patterns in your area of operation. This helps you recognize when something deviates from the norm and might be an indication of surveillance or a threat.
Active Situational Awareness
Advanced and optimal situational awareness (along with pattern recognitionis perhaps the most vital skill for any intelligence operative to be hard to kill. With this, any other skill or measure is potentially moot as it can give you the ability to avoid danger altogether. Cultivate the habit of being hyper-aware of your surroundings, noticing suspicious behavior and identifying potential threats. This heightened state of awareness will enable you to react quickly and effectively in dangerous situations and potentially deadly scenarios that may be materializing.
Operative must be prepared to defend themselves in close-quarters hand-to-hand situations as well as weapons training. Proficiency in martial arts and self-defense techniques is essential, providing you with the skills to disarm, immobilize or evade potential threats. Consider training in disciplines such as Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Muay Thai, which focus on practical self-defense and adaptability in real-world scenarios. In a direct engagement, this physical skillset is critical to stay alive when physical confrontation is unavoidable.
Peak Physical Fitness
Remaining in top physical condition is crucial for operatives beyond direct combat, as it increases your ability to endure long hours, withstand stress and recover from injuries. Regular exercise, incorporating strength training, cardiovascular workouts and flexibility exercises, will help you maintain overall fitness, agility and endurance. Being a master in martial arts will only get you so far if your body can’t keep up with your CQC capabilities.
First Aid and Trauma Care
You’re that much more harder to kill if you can save your own life from life threatening injuries. In the field, covert operatives may face medical emergencies without immediate access to professional help. Acquiring advanced first aid and trauma care skills, such as Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), will enable you to handle life-threatening injuries effectively, stabilize patients and potentially save lives, including your own. Being able to engage direct attacks is critical but being able to take care of yourself in the aftermath is just as critical.
Mental Resilience / Stress Management
The high-stress nature of intelligence work requires mental fortitude and resilience. Develop coping mechanisms to deal with stress, fear and anxiety, such as meditation, deep breathing and visualization techniques. Learn to keep your composure no matter your situation. These practices will help you maintain mental clarity, focus and decision-making abilities in challenging situations.
Advanced Survival Skills
Covert operatives often operate in remote or hostile environments, necessitating proficiency in survival skills. Familiarize yourself with techniques for building shelter, starting a fire and finding food / water in various terrains of the wilderness. Additionally, master navigation tools and methods, such as map reading, using a compass, and relying on natural indicators for direction. In urban terrains; finding safe houses, food / water, as well as accessing human assets and vehicles.
As an intelligence operative, it’s essential to be prepared for any situation. Develop contingency plans, maintain up-to-date emergency preparedness kits (go-bags, burner kits, comms, money stashes, weapons caches etc.), and ensure your equipment is in optimal condition. Regularly review and practice operational security measures to safeguard sensitive information and maintain your cover.
Localized Support Network
In the field, your fellow operatives and assets can serve as your lifeline. Cultivate strong relationships with your team members and local contacts, who can provide valuable information, assistance and tactical / informational / financial / emotional support in times of need.
Stay aware of the ever-changing geopolitical landscape by monitoring local, national and international news. Keep yourself informed of potential risks in your area, such as natural disasters, civil unrest and terrorist threats. This vigilance will enable you to anticipate and respond to emerging dangers – particularly in matters that’s unexpected yet relevant.
The key to being hard to kill is a multifaceted approach, encompassing physical fitness, situational awareness, self-defense, survival skills, mental resilience and preparation. By honing these skills and adopting a proactive mindset, covert operative can become more effective and versatile professionals, capable of navigating the complex and unpredictable world.
[OPTICS : Paris, France]