In life and in combat, there are always emergencies. When these times of peril and chaos come, it is our prior training, not our thoughts at that moment, that will keep us alive. Without a plan, we will likely fail.
When it comes to medical emergencies in special operations, you train first in how to administer self-aid, a critical skill. For example, if you get shot in an arm or leg, apply a tourniquet. That makes sense right? Stop the bleeding. You can do that all on your own. Should you find yourself in this situation, bleeding out and moments from death, immediate action is best.
After you learn “self-aid” you learn “buddy-aid” i.e. save your buddies life. If your buddy is injured and unconscious or unable to administer self-aid, someone else is going to have to apply the aid.
That’s all pretty logical... except one thing. The first step of self-aid is saving your own life, but step one of buddy aid is NOT saving your buddies life. Read that a second time to make sure you got it.
That doesn’t mean your buddies life isn’t extremely important. So why wouldn’t I drop everything I’m doing to save him?
We heard it all the time, “If you want to save your buddies life, win the firefight.”(a firefight is a gunfight) It didn’t say if you want to save your buddies life rush in and save him at all costs. The Captain America style, “storm the castle” approach, only works in the movies.
The reason we don’t rush in is that the real fight is against what’s causing the casualties. The same way you treat the wound is the same way you win the battle. Don’t stop the bleeding, stop what’s causing the bleeding.
I’m not doing you or my team any good if I get myself hurt trying to save you.
So here’s your takeaway: stop trying to be a hero. Stop trying to rush in and save the day. You’ll just be another casualty. This isn’t just a battlefield tactic. It's a life tactic.
The next time you’re late on a paper for school or a deliverable for work, don’t just drop all your other responsibilities to get it done. Win the fight against what caused you to be late in the first.
One caveat: win the fight before your buddy or your school paper bleeds to death.
Life/Combat isn’t easy, but it’s easier if you don’t get shot. Work hard and make wise choices. And when you can’t avoid the inevitable, stay in the fight, never quit.