U.S. Navy

How To Survive A Mall Shooting

If you’ve been following the news the last couple of days, you might have heard about the threat by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab against a particular “family” of shopping malls (blogged about this Sunday). The more I thought about the potential for a mall shooting, the more I wondered if there was anything out in cyberspace that might assist readers in surviving an active shooter situation within this type of environment. Enter SPIKE’s TV series Surviving Disaster from a couple of years back (blogged about here). In particular, the episode entitled “Mall Shooting.” For those of you who’ve never heard of the television series, from the SPIKE website:

What will you do when disaster strikes? Spike TV’s new original series Surviving Disaster, led by Navy SEAL Cade Courtley, vividly takes viewers through catastrophic scenarios and arms them with the knowledge needed to survive the unthinkable. Courtley tackles worst-case scenarios and equips viewers with the practical information needed to save their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. Whether the threat is natural or man-made or on a national or personal level, Courtley speaks directly to the viewers and guides them through a comprehensive, step-by-step process to not only survive the big picture disaster, but endure the many dangerous obstacles that may occur within each catastrophic event. While leading viewers out of danger, Courtley not only provides helpful tips and hands-on instruction, but swiftly points out common misconceptions and fatal mistakes. Unlike any other series, Surviving Disaster may actually save lives by providing actions that anyone can perform.

If Cade Courtley looks familiar, it may be that you recognize him from another survival TV series called America Unplugged that recently aired on the New Berlin, Wisconsin-based TV network The Sportsman Channel (blogged about here– good stuff). Or it could be from a different project of his.

“Who is Cade Courtley?”
YouTube Video

Getting back to Surviving Disaster’s “Mall Shooting,” from the SPIKE website:

A highly trained terrorist cell takes over a crowded mall in a military style siege. Navy SEAL Cade Courtley shows you how to survive a firefight using SEAL Team tactics and take on this well armed enemy by constructing improvised weapons, smoke bombs and night vision gear.

It’s been a few years since I watched the 42-minute production. But I think it still has a lot to offer should readers ever find themselves in a similar predicament. For example, I jotted down the following from the first part of “Mall Shooting,” after the terrorists had commenced their attack:

• Don’t play dead
• Spread out
• Priority is to clear the “kill zone” as fast as possible
• Move away from the kill zone, from cover to cover, avoiding mere concealment if possible
• If no clear exit nearby, escape through the back of a store to the fire-escape hallways
• If the exits from the hallways are blocked/booby-trapped, search for a different escape route from the mall, utilizing those “you are here” maps if necessary
• One possible exit could be the loading dock area, which might be difficult for the terrorists to seal off and a potentially-good spot for law enforcement/other rescuers to gain entry into the facility

Now, some of this might sound “basic” to a number of readers. However, Courtley did cover more “advanced” topics like:

• Individual/group movement (keep at least a foot off of walls because bullets could ricochet down their length)
• Obtaining makeshift weapons and gear from within the mall
• Ambushing terrorists
• Operating an AK-type rifle acquired from the bad guys
• Constructing a makeshift silencer for the captured firearm

There’s plenty more material in Surviving Disaster’s “Mall Shooting,” which you can view in its entirety over on the SPIKE website here.

Personally, I hope readers never have to utilize this information. That being said, I’m real glad SPIKE TV and Cade Courtley put it out there for the general public.

Know of other “how to survive a mall shooting” resources? Feel free to share it with everyone via the comment section.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Courtley’s SEAL survival guide…


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U.S. Military Commanders Being Purged By Obama Administration?

“But as I’ve already said, I have had my military and our team look at a wide range of options.”

-U.S. President Barack Obama, in a statement to the media regarding the Syrian crisis, August 30, 2013

“My military.” Nice.

Champaign, Illinois. Fall 1992. I’m sitting in a Soviet history class I’m taking at the University of Illinois when I learn more about the purges of Joseph Stalin. One of these purges really caught my attention- that of the military. In 1937, the commander-in-chief of the Red Army and seven leading generals were shot. In 1938 and 1939, every admiral and half the Army’s officers were either executed or imprisoned.

Is there any surprise Nazi Germany did so well early on in its military campaign against the U.S.S.R.?

So why do I bring up Stalin’s purge of the Soviet military in the days before World War 2? Well, something I read this weekend on the Investor’s Business Daily website reminded me of it. From an October 29 editorial:

Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.

Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette, commander of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, was relieved in October 2012 for disobeying orders when he sent his group on Sept. 11 to “assist and provide intelligence for” military forces ordered into action by Gen. Ham.

Other removals include the sacking of two nuclear commanders in a single week — Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, head of the 20th Air Force, responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the No. 2 officer at U.S. Strategic Command.

From Breitbart.com’s Facebook page comes a list of at least 197 officers that have been relieved of duty by President Obama for a laundry list of reasons and sometimes with no reason given…

Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year, leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is under way.

(Editor’s notes: Italics added for emphasis)

A purge of United States military commanders by Barack Obama?

Well, it’s been nowhere near the “cleaning house” of 35,000 military officers that was carried out by Comrade Stalin in the late 1930s- that’s for sure.

Although, President Obama does still have 1,172 days left before he departs the Oval Office.

I can understand these officers being removed from their posts for incompetence or something like that. But if the firings are being carried out without cause and over differences in political views, for example, the American public should be worried as our national security is at stake at a time in the world where growing threats coincide with significant budget cuts for the military. Back on October 21, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno even revealed that only two Army brigades are combat-ready these days. A U.S. Army brigade’s strength typically ranges from 2,500 to 4,000 personnel.

As far as I can tell, General Odierno still has his job.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


“Obama’s Military Coup Purges 197 Officers In Five Years.” Investor’s Business Daily. 29 Oct. 2013. (http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102913-677116-197-military-officers-purged-by-obama.htm). 4 Nov. 2013.

“Army chief: Just 2 brigades combat-ready.” FOX News. 23 Oct. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/23/army-chief-just-2-brigades-combat-ready/). 4 Nov. 2013.


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Monday, November 4th, 2013 Africa, Europe, Government, Military, Political Parties, War 2 Comments

U.S. Navy: SEALs Can Wear ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Patches

The following is an e-mail dated October 22, 2013, that author and ex-Navy SEAL Carl Higbie allegedly received from his “former teammates” and which he republished in an opinion piece on The Daily Caller website last Friday:

WARCOM and GROUP TWO/ONE have pushed out the uniform policy for NWU III and any patches worn on the sleeve.
All personnel are only authorized to wear the matching “AOR” American Flag patch on the right shoulder. You are no longer authorized to wear the “Don’t Tread On Me” patch.
Again the only patch authorized for wear is the American flag on the right shoulder. Please pass the word to all
Senior Enlisted Advisor
[Name Redacted]

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Why would someone want members of the United States Navy’s Sea, Air, Land Teams to get rid of their “Navy Jack” patches, a historical insignia which Higbie said was popular among the special operations force?

First Navy Jack

The following could be a clue. From the NPR website back on March 25, 2010:

Last weekend, as the House prepared to vote on the health care overhaul legislation, a group of Republican lawmakers unfurled a large “Don’t Tread on Me” flag from a balcony of the Capitol building, rallying their supporters below. The flag has become a staple at Tea Party rallies.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Just before I was about to publish this post, I was made aware of the Navy’s response to this alleged e-mail. Meghann Myers reported tonight on the Military Times website:

The Navy is flatly denying claims that SEALs are no longer allowed to wear the First Navy Jack patch on their uniforms. In fact, the Navy recently expanded the wear rules for the iconic “Don’t Tread on Me Patch.”

Myers added:

“As of September 2013, all Naval Special Warfare personnel are authorized to wear the U.S. flag and the “Don’t Tread on me” uniform patches,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty told Navy Times. “In the past, NSW did not authorize wearing either patch unless one was deployed or in a work-up cycle. However, NSW recently sought special permission from the Chief of Naval Operations staff to wear the patches within the continental United States.”

Judging by what seems to be a growing injection of politics into military matters these days under the Obama administration, I can’t help but wonder if that e-mail really is legit, and that someone didn’t simply get their “wires crossed” as the Military Times staff writer suggested.

If anything, I’m somewhat skeptical about that September 2013 authorization existing.

More on military affairs later tonight.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


“Tea Party Adopts ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Flag.” NPR. 25 Mar. 2010. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125184586). 4 Nov. 2013.

Myers, Meghann. “Official: Spec-ops sailors can keep wearing ‘Navy jack.”‘ Military Times. 4 Nov. 2013. (http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20131104/NEWS07/311040026/Official-Spec-ops-sailors-can-keep-wearing-Navy-jack-). 4 Nov. 2013.


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Monday, November 4th, 2013 Government, Military No Comments

U.S. Marines Disarmed During Presidential Inauguration Parade?

It seems to me some active/retired elements of the United States armed forces aren’t too hot about the anti-war/anti-military component of the Democratic Party (or just Democrats in general).

And vice versa.

But recently, the word is out that Marines from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., who participated in the 57th Presidential Inauguration Parade on January 21 were seen marching with the bolts removed from their M1 Garand rifles, rendering the iconic firearms inoperable. David Codrea, Gun Rights Examiner on Examiner.com, confirmed this was indeed the case and reported on the site Monday:

Wondering if this may be an inauguration policy of long standing that transcends administrations, Gun Rights Examiner made a cursory search and found something even more curious. In the 2009 Inaugural Parade, the United States Navy marched with rifles that had not been so disabled…

Unlike in 2009, in the 2013 inaugural parade, someone in authority made the decision to change that and order the Marines to march with visibly disabled guns.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Marines Support the 57th Presidential Inauguration Parade”
YouTube Video

Last March, Marines were also disarmed when U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Afghanistan. Elisabeth Bumiller reported in The New York Times on March 14, 2012:

In a sign of the nervousness surrounding the trip, a sergeant major abruptly told the Marines gathered to hear Mr. Panetta in a tent at Camp Leatherneck to get up, place their M-16 and M-4 automatic rifles and 9-millimeter pistols outside, and return unarmed. The sergeant major, Brandon Hall, told reporters that he was acting on orders.

“All I know is I was told to get the weapons out,” he said. Asked why, he replied:

“Somebody got itchy — that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy. We just adjust.”

Normally, American forces in Afghanistan keep their weapons when the defense secretary visits and speaks to them.

Bumiller added that reporters were later informed by Major General Mark Gurganus, the top U.S. military official in the Afghan province, that he wanted a consistent policy for everyone in the tent, as our Afghan allies in attendance were unarmed.

Disarming our own soldiers in the presence of high-level civilian government officials?

On one hand, I’m guessing somebody in Washington actually paid attention in history class and hopes to avoid a repeat of what happened to Anwar Sadat. On the other, if there’s serious concern about something like this taking place here, what does that tell us about the state of things in America that would lead to such an act.

All I can say is, these sure are interesting times we live in.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Codera, David. “Disabled Marine rifles at inauguration signal shift in administration policy (Photos).” Examiner.com. 11 Feb. 2013. (http://www.examiner.com/article/disabled-marine-rifles-at-inauguration-signal-shift-administration-policy). 14 Feb. 2013.

Bumiller, Elisabeth. “Panetta Is Safe After Breach Near His Plane at Afghan Base.” The New York Times. 14 Mar. 2012. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/world/asia/panetta-visits-afghanistan-following-massacre.html?_r=4&ref=elisabethbumiller&). 14 Feb. 2013.


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Thursday, February 14th, 2013 Asia, Firearms, Government, Military, Political Parties 2 Comments

Preppers Still Active, And In The News

I happened to stumble on an interesting TV news segment this afternoon on preppers in Oregon. Wesleigh Ogle for CBS affiliate KCBY-TV in North Bend, Oregon, had this to report on December 27:


I’m really glad that Avery found his “prepper’s paradise.” It looks beautiful- and full of resources- out there in the Northwest.

On Christmas Day, I also came across an article about active military preppers on the UPI website. From the Deep South:

We evidently dodged the Mayan end-of-the-world bullet, but so-called preppers in the United States say they’ll stay prepared nonetheless.

Navy Times reported last week people such as Gunnery Sgt. David Williams of Gulfport, Miss., who are part of the preppers movement — people who say they intend to be prepared for whatever calamities befall us — don’t care if you think they’re crazy. They just take comfort in their stockpiles of food, water, weapons and other vital supplies.

“A lot of the guys in my unit think I’m crazy. I’ll push the zombie apocalypse and the whole 2012 end-of-the-world business. I don’t really believe any of that crap, but it makes it fun,” Williams, a member of a Navy Seabee construction unit who has served in Afghanistan, told the newspaper. “When you’re planning for the zombie apocalypse, you’re still planning.

“Survival really is a community effort. If you’re just one dude or one family living in a bunker, what are you living for? What’s the point? What are [you] trying to stick around for? You might as well go out with everybody else because there isn’t going to be anything when you climb out of your hole.”

Williams — who has served as an instructor at the Marine Corps’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., and has been a survival, evasion, resistance and escape instructor — has written the Survivology 101 blog for the past three years.

“If we all die together, we all die together,” Williams said. “But if we make it through, we become a strong community and we rebuild. It may not be the diehard survival mentality, but there has to be something to live for, too. You have to have something more than yourself; otherwise, you’re a sociopath and probably don’t need to be living anyway.”

Like with a lot of things in life, preppers seem to come in all shapes and sizes.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (http://www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Ogle, Wesleigh. “Meet a true Oregon ‘prepper.’” CBS North Bend, OR. 27 Dec. 2012. (http://www.kcby.com/news/local/Meet-a-true-Oregon-prepper-184991621.html). 31 Dec. 2012.

“Preppers’ prepare for the worst.” UPI. 25 Dec. 2012. (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/12/25/Preppers-prepare-for-the-worst/UPI-73881356422400/). 31 Dec. 2012.


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Monday, December 31st, 2012 Military, Preparedness, TEOTWAWKI No Comments

China Becoming More Vocal On Handling Of U.S. Economy

That discussion last night about a potential crisis for the U.S. Navy as it concerns maintaining and replacing ships and aircraft equipment centered on a July 12 Washington Times piece by Stephen Levy. While I didn’t mention it in my post, Levy noted something which I found extremely interesting. From the article:

The hearing came a day after a meeting between Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Chen Bingde, in which the general suggested that the U.S. cut its defense spending because of budgetary concerns.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

This morning, the Chinese again offered the United States advice on how to manage its finances in light of the well-publicized debate over raising the debt ceiling. From the MSNBC website:

China, the biggest American foreign creditor with more than $1 trillion in Treasury debt as of March, called on the U.S. government Thursday to adopt “responsible policies” to protect investor interests…

“We hope that the U.S. government adopts responsible policies and measures to guarantee the interests of investors,” China Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular briefing in Beijing. He did not elaborate.

Analysts estimate that some 70 percent of China’s $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves are invested in dollar assets.

Few markets other than the U.S. Treasury market are big enough to absorb China’s reserves accumulation, which was $152.8 billion in the second quarter of 2011.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

With that much at stake in our financial well-being, it only makes sense the People’s Republic of China will continue to be vocal on how the United States is managing its economy.


Levy, Stephen. “Navy fleet needs funding, Forbes says.” Washington Times. 12 July 2011. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/12/navy-fleet-needs-funding-forbes-says/?page=all#pagebreak). 14 July 2011.

“China urges US to be ‘responsible’ on debts.” NBC News. 14 July 2011. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43751206/ns/politics-capitol_hill/). 14 July 2011.


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Thursday, July 14th, 2011 Asia, Government, Military No Comments

U.S. Navy Facing Maintenance Crisis?

As a good portion of my undergraduate studies concentrated on Western European history and politics, I followed the break-up of the Soviet Union during the early 1990s. Once in a while I would encounter photos of ships from the former Soviet Navy rusting away in port. It’s not that the sailors didn’t care about their vessels- just that there were no funds available to maintain them.

Russian navy vessels, Murmansk, 2007

Source: EnglishRussia.com

I fear the same could happen to the United States military as our economic problems grow worse.

From the Washington Times’ Stephen Levy last night:

A senior House Republican on Tuesday challenged the Obama administration on what he said were shortfalls in funding the Navy’s programs to maintain the fleet.

“Our Navy already has insufficient resources to preserve its current fleet, let alone reverse the trend of years of underfunding,” said Rep. J. Randy Forbes, Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee.

Mr. Forbes said less than half of the Navy’s deployed aircraft were combat ready, and more than 20 percent of all Navy vessels ranked below satisfactory by inspection teams, with repairs requiring parts taken from other ships.

Two witnesses at a hearing on Navy readiness, Vice Adm. William Burke, head of fleet readiness, and Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, acknowledged that the current defense budget does not provide what the Navy needs.

“Im not happy,” Adm. Burke said. “The decision that was made was based on other priorities, and ship maintenance came up short.”

The budget authorizes $5 billion for ship maintenance, and the Pentagon requested an additional $367 million for improvements to 44 ships.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Levy talked about the situation with the Navy’s combat aircraft. From the piece:

Another stress on the Navy is the failure to replace aging aircraft, Adm. Burke said.

“The delay in the arrival of the F-35 has been costly,” he said. “We’ve had to add hours to legacy aircraft,” referring to planes approaching 6,000 hours.

“We think we can get even more,” he said, “but there’s only so far you can go.”

Here’s hoping the Navy doesn’t end up like their Cold War counterparts.


Levy, Stephen. “Navy fleet needs funding, Forbes says.” Washington Times. 12 July 2011. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/12/navy-fleet-needs-funding-forbes-says/?page=all#pagebreak). 13 July 2011.


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Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 Military No Comments
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