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The 4th Generation Warfare Mindset

The 4th Generation Mindset 

Before I even knew about the light infantry mindset I was already practicing it. 4th Generation Warfare is essentially light infantry. The idea is to move light and fast and learn to make do with as little as possible. In this case the issue of batteries and lights comes to the forefront.

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abner miranda

Abner Miranda is a former Police Officer of 6 years, an FBI trained Hostage Negotiator, a First Responder, and Spanish Interpreter. He is currently a Firearms Instructor, an Armorer, and a regular contributor to our industry of both written and digital media. He is an AR-15 rifle designer and takes great pride instructing friends, family and fellow law enforcement agents.

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  • Simple is often good, but simple is not always best. Being loaded down with gear in place of training is certainly a problem, and the less we need to be successful, possibly the better off we are. But certain pieces of kit can improve our accuracy and effectiveness in various scenarios. More kit may mean more risk of kit component failure, so training with and without can be very useful, but in a tactical situation (LE/Mil or especially civilian) we need to find the tactical advantages where we can. I appreciate this video as it brings up an interesting concept and training point, but it does seem somewhat tactically flawed.

    In terms of light/no light, batteries/no batteries, if you only expect to find bad guys during daylight hours, you’re good to go. Wrong, but go for it. If you live in the my world, bad guys can operate in the dark too. Or so I’ve heard. Batteries and electronics certainly can fail, and backups should be maintained in that case. But, if it’s a matter of keeping your batteries fresh, man up and check your gear. (I’m terrible at that, but I’m trying to be better.) Keep a list if you have to so you know when the batteries need to be replaced. If it’s a truck gun or a defensive gun, you’re not using those batteries, so don’t need to check them as often. Check them anyway. I ran an AimPoint for over ten years with one battery. I didn’t use it much, but when did it fail me? During a competition. Why did it fail me? Because I didn’t check it. That said, I had backup iron sights (that weren’t sighted in) and still managed a win. I’m not awesome, I’m stupid for not keeping up with my kit.

    Here are some thoughts on attached/detached:

    If you run only a detached light and you sustain an injury to either your primary or support hand, you’re in trouble. If you have a light on your weapon, you can still fire with either hand.

    If you’re running around knees bent and have mission-essential gear in-hand, or if you’re CONUS carrying your kid in one arm, you have to take the time to drop your cargo, reach for that gun and light- and make it all work. Whereas if you have a weapon light on your gun, you can one-hand the shot. (Sure, you need training either way, but you can fire with your right hand while your left holds your groceries.)

    If the light from your compatriots at the training site, or a street light, or headlights, was enough for you to look around, then your weapon light focused on the downed assailant is probably enough light for you to look around. Otherwise, your handheld-only model leaves your target on the ground, unilluminated. This isn’t Hollywood; people don’t die instantly, and with no light focused on that target, you could easily miss a weapon being presented, or the target getting back up because your light and your eyes and your mind are following your handheld. Bad guys are on drugs. Bad guys can have armor. That’s tunnel vision, right there. You’re almost inducing, or forcing tunnel vision. Maybe double up on lights but never assume that just because you shot someone that that person is no longer a threat. (I know you’re not saying that in this video, I just want to emphasize that because I see so many people operating that way.

    I submit that “X” is not one spot from which a slight movement will render you safe. Thus, in the civvy world at least, get out of there. Sweep the scene if you must, but get to safety, get 911.

    I support a weapon-mounted light, but I also support having a detached light as well. Yes, it’s more gear. Yes, it’s redundant. But (within reason) are you going to regret carrying an extra light in your EDC or not having enough light/a backup light in your defensive situation? Obviously light discipline is important in either case.

    Thanks for the video and the opportunity to comment.


    Specter7 May 16, 2019

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