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 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.


Paula said...

Thanks for an interesting post...I will suggest the book to my son. I think it is true that police officers here in the States are facing much the same situations that are being encountered in war zones. Unfortunately. Have a super day

Natalie said...

Thanks for the book recommendation! I was recommended by Slamdunk "Into the Kill Zone: A Cop's Eye View of Deadly Force" by David Klinger that I'm currently reading via interlibrary loan. However, as a spouse of an LEO, I'm not getting as much out of it as I'm sure my hubby and actual LEOs would. Looks like I may have one Christmas present down for the hubby!

Mandy said...

This book sounds PERFECT for my husband! He is a cop, but is also a former Marine. He was an MP in the Marines so he definitely spent a lot of time policing over in Iraq and also sees the similarities. Thanks for the recommendation!

Anonymous said...

I've read both of Grossman's books and have also had the opportunity to hear him speak on several occasions at SWAT conferences. I think his sheepdog anology is perfect in describing what type of person chooses this profession, and is in fact how I came up with my own blog's name.

Kudos to you for reading it so early in your career. I don't know why we tend to reserve those topics for SWAT officers. Like I tell my guys, every officer is a tactical officer.

Sean said...

I will add to what Christopher said - if you ever get the chance to listen to Lt. Col. Grossman speak you will find it very educational. Glad you got something from his books, and keep it in mind as you progress throughout the job.

Anonymous said...

This is a book I will NOT be reading as a wife. However, thanks for the recommendation. I want to get it for hugs now. As Christopher pointed out, every officer is a tactical officer. This is probably even more true with someone like by hubs, working in a rural area, where if SWAT is needed, they are a minimum of 1 1/2 hours away. A rural officer has to be everything, detective, traffic cop, SWAT, livestock chaser, junk notice server, ect, ect.

PS I have a thing for word verifications that crack me up. This one is bluta

Makes me think, Brutha. Like the Brotherhood. Appropriate.

Slamdunk said...

Good review HF.

Kimber said...

And I just ordered this for Big Daddy.He is quite pleased. Thanks!