Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Guest Post by HF: A Rookie Review
Early into the academy, one of our instructors recommended Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's books, On Killing and On Combat. Being eager to please and impress, I went to my local library looking for both. I was surprised to find that neither book was available at any of my area libraries, including the local university libraries. So I went onto Amazon.com and ordered On Combat. I read the book whenever I could during the academy, treating its subject matter like scriptural cannon for police work. When the scenario and combat shooting portion of our academy rolled around I quickly realized the immediate value of reading Lt. Col. Grossman's work.
As a new officer this book has helped me immensely in understanding the psychological and physiological effects of the things I encounter as a police officer. During the academy I quickly recognized many of the things we were taught seemed to come straight from On Combat. Now out on the street, I'm seeing it even more.
On Combat is an easy to understand, no nonesense, treatment of "The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace (From the cover, On Combat)."
One of the recurring themes in Lt. Col. Grossman's book is the growing similarity between our military and police forces. He makes the case that our troops overseas are finding themselves performing police like duties, keeping the peace and fighting insurgents, while our nation's police officers are facing growing violence and crime similar in nature to what our soldiers overseas are dealing with. Lt. Col. Grossman uses his personal experience along with the experiences of other veteran police officers and soldiers to illustrate this point as well as teach modern warriors how to effectively deal with modern combat. Learning Grossman's combat breathing technique alone is worth the price of the book.
Grossman illustrates in detail what may happen to you physically and psychologically when you kill someone. He discusses how to manage your body's physical reactions to stress in life threatening situations. Utilizing accounts from veteran officers and soldiers who have been through the fire, Lt. Col. Grossman teaches us how to survive and even thrive in a deadly conflict. Additionally, Grossman teaches us about the effect of media violence on society and our children, why we need valiant warriors even more today, and how we as modern paladins can faithfully stay true to the oaths we have taken to protect and serve.
As a new officer this book continues to prove valuable in new ways every day. I'm glad I've read it and I continue to go back for review. I highly recommend this book, not only to police officers and anyone in harm's way, but also to their equally brave spouses who support us so much.