In antiquity those that excelled in warfare first made themselves unconquerable. Being unconquerable lies with yourself; being conquerable lies with the enemy. Thus one who excels in warfare is able to make himself unconquerable, but cannot necessarily cause the enemy to be unconquerable. One who cannot be victorious assumes a defensive posture; one who can be victorious attacks. The combat of the victorious is like the sudden release of a pent up torrent down a thousand fathom gorge.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Through history there have always been those tasked with the protection of their people, to maintain order, enforce laws, and fight the enemy. Whether they were centurions, knights, soldiers, or policemen, there were those who stood out, those who had something special. They were and they are the leaders, the strongest, the fastest, the best. They stand above the rest…they are the warriors.
Warriors are those who jump from the frying pan into the fire, not because they are without fear but because they feel they must. They do not choose the path of least resistance they choose the long uphill road to achievement. Warriors do not fear the fight, but they are disciplined in their work and in their life. They suffer and sweat to become stronger and better and they seek information to educate their minds. They are never satisfied and they constantly strive to improve. Warriors excel.
Who are these warriors? They are not everyone. They are not the entire army or the entire force of men. They are what I call the six per-centers. Historically only six percent of the entire force or army were those who actually fought with a vengeance to win the battles. The other ninety four-percent were reluctant participants and/or less enthusiastic combatants, and many were merely just there. Luckily the six per-centers were also there, to bring them together, lead them, by example, to victory. This unwritten rule of six per-centers can be applied to most armies, law enforcement organizations, and even private companies. Successful companies led by executive officers are typically the six per-centers and are driven by the same warrior spirit. Think about it. How many successful company executives do you see that are fat, sloppy, and unmotivated? Why is the company loaded with employees that are not self-motivated to climb the corporate latter?
The world is populated primarily with average people swimming in a sea of mediocrity. They are content to complete their workday, go home and lay on the couch and eat a bag of Fritos. They look forward to the weekend when they can lay on the couch and eat some more Fritos. There is nothing wrong with being one of those who maintain a life of mediocrity; the world needs them too. But, they are not the six per-centers. They are not the warriors. The warriors… they stand above.
Law enforcement is no different. Every division of a police department has those who stand out. From patrol through investigations to specialized units, there are those who are extremely good at getting the job done. Some of these officers are still un-satisfied with their role within the department and want to do more. They are the six percent that feel a need to do more, to be more and to take more risks. They want to be where the action is and where the fight will be. They have the warrior spirit within them. Where do these people go within their organizations go to become the ultimate warrior? In the army they make the progression through the Airborne Ranger, Green Beret, and Delta. A Marine may become Sniper or force Recon. In the Navy they are the SEALS. In the Air Force they may be Para Rescue. In the Police Department they are SWAT! They are tactical officers that operate in situations that require them to be warriors, warriors behind the badge!
What draws an officer to become a SWAT operator? Why do certain civilians want to be so much more? Is it testosterone? We know that those with higher levels of testosterone are aggressive, bold, and focused. According to Jim Dabbs PhD, Georgia State University, Those with high levels of testosterone "were always raring to take action, and they could become intensely absorbed in a task without becoming distracted." The more testosterone you have the more dominant you’re likely to be and the less crap you’ll take from others. Testosterone also helps you build muscle, burn fat, maintain strong bones, even grow a decent beard. So it is likely that testosterone has something to do with a one’s persona and it is certainly an "A Type" personality that excels as a tactical operator, but it is not testosterone only and you don’t have to be a bearded woman to be a hell of a warrior.
There is something deep inside the warrior that drives him, that pushes him and cannot be explained scientifically. It is not just spirit and desire, but an extreme level spirit and desire…a Warrior Spirit! Not everybody has the spirit of the warrior, but those that do are exceptional. There is an uncharted fraternity of these people. It is a very exclusive, one can’t just join, and one can be accepted into this fraternity, only; if they possess that intangible warrior quality - the right stuff.
It is an honor to be a member of this exclusive fraternity. I am a trainer of warriors and a student of warriors. I am blessed with the opportunity to train warriors, to learn from warriors, and to evolve with them. You would be hard pressed to find a smarter, more fit, more motivated bunch of thirty to fifty year old men and women on the face of this planet. Beyond the wonderful toys, that we call equipment is the company we keep and not the paltry sum that we earn that makes us rich. It is the people we know, the things that we accomplish, and how we feel about ourselves that truly makes us wealthy.
It is with a surge of adrenaline and pride when I have the opportunity to train with the best. As I teach, I will continue to learn because we all have much to share. Because of our characteristics, we will be offered challenges and opportunities. Because we are warriors we will not fear them. Teddy Roosevelt, the eternal warrior and fighting man, once said…
"The credit belongs to those people who are actually in the arena who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions to a worthy cause; who at best, know the triumphs of high achievement; and who, at worst, fail while daring greatly…so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
True warriors aren’t made; they are born to become warriors. They are a special breed with special character and the determination to be over and above the norm. A warrior’s destiny is inevitable. Once a warrior, always a warrior, it does not go away….Warriors, once, and always.