Marine Life: The Duane Liptak Story

Top SWAT: U.S. National Championships

The Border: America’s Blind Spot

Protecting Our Veterans’ Second Amendment Rights

Putting The Shotgun Back On Patrol

American Warrior
THE NRA MAGAZINE FOR THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

NUMBER 05

American Warrior
THE NRA MAGAZINE FOR THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

NUMBER 05 WarriorWare
NRA American Warrior helps you prepare for the zombie war … and more.

Virtual Warrior

Maximum movies, music and games for the modern warfighter.

Welcome to the Warrior.

ON THE COVER & CONTENTS: Ryan

McCliment (cover photo) is a member of the North Cascade Smokejumpers. Smokejumping was developed in the late 1930s as a means to quickly reach fires in remote areas for initial attack. Pictured here is a sampling of the fire-loving terrain near the Smokejumper Base in Winthrop, Wash.

WA R R I O R F E AT U R E S
P R E S E N T E D BY C O LT

Marine Life Top SWAT Top Cops

The personification of perseverance, Duane Liptak doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” The U.S. National SWAT Championships combine competition and camaraderie. Law enforcement officers from around the world put their skill and training to the test at the NRA’s National Police Shooting Championships.

The Border: America’s Blind Spot

The first in a multi-part series of NRA American Warrior exclusives shows how our Mexican border problem is far more than just a political issue. It’s an issue of national security.

From Hero to Zero

How thousands of our military men and women are losing their Right to Keep and Bear Arms after returning home.

Shotguns on Patrol

New technology is making the 12-gauge shotgun a better choice for law enforcement officers.

The main video window at NRALifeofDuty.tv serves as your gateway to a plethora of outstanding videos featuring American Warriors of all kinds.

I

f you’ve never visited NRALifeofDuty.tv, you’re missing some of the best, most up-to-date coverage of true American Warriors—military, law enforcement and first responders—available on the Internet. The fabulous, full-length “Patriot Profile” videos are the cornerstone of this coverage, giving an in-depth look into the real lives of real American heroes. Check them out when you get a chance. You’ll be glad you did.

NRALifeofDuty.TV is brought to you by

Colors of Commitment

Sergeant Joe Collins recalls his experience responding to the Virginia Tech massacre.

Interceptors

Learn the truth about the Mexican border issue from the boots on the ground.

Camp Patriot

At this camp, disabled vets find camaraderie, adventure and hope.

SUPPORT

Find out more at NRALifeOfDuty.tv

IT ONLY TAKES 30 SECONDS TO TEXT

”PATRIOT”
TO

AND GIVE $5
NRA Life of Duty serves those who protect and defend the safety of the American people. Make sure their stories are heard; take 30 seconds to text “Patriot” to 50555, and give $5 to support the LOD mission by providing exclusive NRA LOD programming, including … • Patriot Profiles, with broadcast-network quality stories covering those at home and abroad. • Frontlines with LtCol Oliver North, offering never-before-seen footage, reports and interviews with the retired U.S. Marine Corps officer. • NRA American Warrior, an exclusive digital magazine with interactive media, videos and articles detailing the latest tactics and technology. There’s more, too—insightful coverage that’s geared toward those who put their lives on the line. And with your support, new NRA LOD programs are in development—including Live and Listening, a live commentary show; My Hometown, a place for families and friends to submit videos and stories to those deployed; plus Archives, a channel celebrating veterans and their achievements. Help NRA tell the stories other media outlets ignore: the stories of America’s Warriors.

50555

LIFE OF DUTY.

FOR THOSE WHO LIVE THE

NRA LOD programming is free to LOD members, but it isn’t free to produce! Pick up your cell phone and give now!
$5.00 donation to NRA Foundation. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms: mGive.org/T

A M E R I C A N WA R R I O R

WA R R I O R WA R E
GUNS, GEAR & GADGETS FOR THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

A

daptable, relentless and accurate: Those three words offer a perfect description of our nation’s top military and LE snipers, as well as the new MRAD sniper rifle from Barrett.

A RIFLE TO SET YOUR WATCH BY

The MRAD—or Multi-Role Adaptive Design—rifle shows its adaptability right off the bat with a user-changeable barrel. The MRAD’s precision-grade barrel can be removed by simply unscrewing two bolts using a standard Torx wrench. While the MRAD is offered initially in .338 Lapua, the interchangeable barrel design paves the way for use of future chamberings such as .300 Win. Mag. and .308 Win. The MRAD also boasts a drop-fire-proof, combat-ready, match-grade trigger. The magazine release is ambidextrous, and a thumb-operated safety can be set up for leftor right-hand operation. Integrated into the MRAD rifle’s 7000 series aluminum upper receiver is an M1913 rail with 30 MOA taper. The 21.75-inch rail offers plenty of space for night-vision devices, and side and bottom rails will accommodate a number of other accessories.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS: Caliber: .338 Lapua Magnum Rifle Operation: Bolt Action Repeater Overall Length: 46.9" (119.35 cm) Stock Folded Length: 39.9" (101.35 cm) Barrel Length: 24.5" (62.23 cm) Rifling Twist: 1 in 10" (25.4 cm) Right Hand Twist Rifle Weight: 14.8 lbs (6.713 kg) Safety: Manual Reversible, Thumb Lever Optics Rail: 21.75" (55.25 cm) Magazine: 10-Round Capacity

BARR

E T T.N

ET

WA R R I O R WA R E
Email the Editor Sponsor an LOD Membership

The MRAD’s stock is foldable for enhanced portability yet locks in as solid as a fixed-stock rifle, creating a rigid platform for consistent firing. Because the stock folds to the bolt-handle side of the action, the rifle is the same width overall, folded or extended. Further enhancing the MRAD’s adaptability, the rifle’s length of pull can be set to five different positions at the push of a button. Putting the MRAD through its paces recently for Shooting Illustrated magazine, reviewer Steve Adelmann came away impressed—to put it lightly. “… The sample I tested far outclassed every other .338 Lapua Mag. rifle I’ve fired to date,” Adelman wrote. “By rough count, that list equates to thousands of rounds through several samples of nine different rifle models. The fact the MRAD did this in a very handy package made shooting it a sweet experience. … I believe Barrett’s MRAD will merit a close look from anyone interested in placing accurate and hard-hitting rounds on distant targets.”

“THE SAMPLE I TESTED FAR OUTCLASSED EVERY OTHER .338 LAPUA MAG. RIFLE I’VE FIRED TO DATE.”

BARRETT.NET

WA R R I O R WA R E
Email the Editor Like Us on Facebook

... AND A WATCH TO SET YOUR RIFLE BY

The well-appointed sniper will want to accessorize appropriately with his new Barrett MRAD, perhaps with a new tactical sniper watch from 5.11. The 5.11 Tactical HRT Sniper Watch does a lot more than tell time. An integrated SureShot calculator puts sophisticated point-of-impact software right on your wrist. The SureShot calculator gives you point of impact shooting solutions out to 1,000 meters. Simply input your ballistic data (bore height, ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity and zero range), then add data about environmental conditions (range, temperature, altitude, inclination), and the SureShot calculator gives you a shooting solution that works on MILS, TMOA, SMOA and clicking rifle scopes.

R U G E R L C R - 3 57

511TAC

T IC A L.C

OM

WA R R I O R WA R E

BROW NE LL S.C

OM

Email the Editor

Visit the Gear Channel

Brownells c outfit you w an all your zomith apocalypse bie supplies, including th e Darkotic Zomse Splattering bie Targets.

BROWNELLS PREPS FOR WORLD WAR

THE ZOMBIES AR I know it. Brow E COMING. You know it. n don’t know it b ells knows it. The zombies e of rational tho cause they’re incapable ught. They kno w nothing but walking and fe eding. So, you’ve go boarding up yo t two choices: Start u your doors, or r windows and barricading head to Brown e prepared to ta ke the fight to lls and get th dead. The folk s at Brownells e lumbering are it easy, with a special subsec making tio website devote d to zombie aw n of their aren F irst things firs t: Stock up on ess. You might be th inking shotgun ammo. but a clean zo rounds, m headshot. We bie kill requires a precise re ammo, and da commend 5.56 x 45 mm n recommend th ged if Brownells doesn’t e rounds will get same thing. A thousand yo stages of the zo u through the very early mbie apocalyp se.

NELLS BROW FOR PREPS WAR WORLD
WA R R I O R WA R E

B ROW N EL

LS.C OM

ke is nothing li g a zombie ow will you react But shootin per target. H r? Best a pa shooting at counter your first walke m now, te n when you e usness out of your sys ing folks o k get the ner v late. The forward-thin eding o le before it’s to can fix you up with a b cially e s at Brownell t to practice on. It’s sp the e of zombie targ closely resemble one unter in o designed to ad bastards you’ll enc ke a real li e forlorn, und istant future. And, just rounds. f -d the not-too ithstand thousands o d. The lw ea zombie, it’l ke, aim for the foreh anatomy a f (For God’s s nly functional piece o shots will o brain is the body. Center-of-mass you’re one ie n in the zomb ere but dead, and the h get you now supplies reat zombie m, and f them.) o of other g There’s lots could write about the ding rea s. We at Brownell end precious moments to p elf you could s or you could get yours ste and , a about them s.com/zombie post-h ell www.brown your armor y. g start stockin

zombie bleeding thstand The n wi target ca us rounds of 1,000-pl O or 250-plus 5.56 NATf .308 ammo, rounds o a real zombie. just like

Email the Editor

Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

WA R R I O R WA R E
Email the Editor Sponsor an LOD Membership

What’s in Your Wallet?
If we hadout our wallets and wished we a dollar for every time we’ve pulled
had a pair of tweezers in there, we’d take those dollars and put them in our newly acquired TMT Tactical Wallet—and we’d use the included tweezers to do it, too. Then, we’d probably use the wallet’s integrated compass to get our bearings so we can go find something to eat. Likely as not, whatever we eat will get stuck between our teeth, which is exactly when the TMT Tactical’s included toothpick will come in handy. Depending on what we get up to later, the carbide glass breaker could come into play, and there’s little doubt we’ll use the self-defense striking edge when some leather wallet-carrying pansy saunters up and tells us we’re carrying a glorified purse. (Did we mention our wallet’s made out of freakin’ billet aluminum?) Dude’s just jealous because he carries his ink pen in his shirt pocket, rather than in the special compartment of his TMT Tactical Wallet, which he doesn’t have. If he really wanted one, though, he could get it at www.tmtwallets.com.

+ + + + + +

TONERMACHINING.COM

WA R R I O R WA R E
Email the Editor Visit the Gear Channel

PRINCETONTEC.COM

HEADLIGHTS
Take your pick, Charge or Switch. You can't go wrong.
Tactical lighting pioneer Princeton Tec has a new headlamp you’ll want to check out and another soon-to-be-released model to put on your wish list. When Princeton Tec customers expressed the need for a simple, lightweight personal lighting system, the company responded with the Switch-MPLS. A personal task light that offers very light weight and unmatched versatility, the Switch features a dual-LED head on a flexi-neck platform. The Switch-MPLS always turns on in “low mode,” but with a two-second hold of the large push button, the unit activates a bright white or red LED mode for better illumination. Specialty LED colors include Red, IR, Blue, and Green. High Output colors include White and Red. MSRP: $59.99. Soon to be released, the Princeton Tec Charge is the Switch’s big brother. With the Charge’s flexi-neck design, the user can put direct light exactly where it is needed—whether it’s one of the unit’s covert lighting options or the blaring 55 lumen Maxbright LED. The Charge will run off of any AA battery and can be paired with the included low-profile MOLLE helmet rail or standard helmet mounting attachments. MSRP: $99.99.

WA R R I O R WA R E
Email the Editor Sponsor an LOD Membership

STEALTH PATROL

The RedShift PD: All electric. All awesome.

An electric cop motorcycle? Seriously? Yeah, seriously cool. The RedShift line from San Francisco-based BRD Motorcycles will put you right on top of the bad guys, whether on the streets or off the beaten path. And with a nearly silent electric motor, they won’t even hear you coming. Redshift electric bikes come in two flavors, an off-road MX model and a street-racing SM model, either of which can be outfitted with a PD trim that BRD says will make this an ideal patrol and first response vehicle for police, emergency and park services. The RedShift PD is designed to provide all the capability of a full dress patrol bike in a lightweight (right around 295 pounds), silent, multi-terrain, maneuverable package perfect for chasing bad guys in town or on the trails. If you’re secure enough in your manhood to forgo the rumble of a traditional motorcycle, you can pre-order the RedShift PD at www.faster-faster.com.

TODDTA NKE RSL EY.C OM

AND FAS TER-FAS TER

.COM

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
MAXIMUM STRENGTH MUSIC, VIDEO, GAMES, APPS …

What to Watch B Watches

These ain’t your Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Ems. OK, maybe they are, but the anabolic steroid, juiced-up version 2.0. There’s a little more deadbeat-dad-forgotten-offspring drama than expected, but the “Rocky”-esque fight scenes more than make up for it. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a washed-up Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) get cozy with that hot chick from “Lost” (Evangeline Lilly) while watching the best pay-per-view fight since Pacquiao v. Mayweather? Definitely one to put on the Netflix queue.

Real Steel

Immortals “One man chosen by the gods.” No really, a human named Theseus is literally hand-picked by Zeus to fight against King Hyperion and the Titans trying to destroy the world. Even though it seems like a bunch of metal-molded abs and loin cloths engaging in epic battles, the special effects alone make this a must-see.

Between

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol It’s been five long years since the last installment, but Ethan Hunt and friends are back and fully loaded. This time the group is fingered for the bombing of the Kremlin, and the team must go rogue to clear their names and find the true terrorists. Fast cars, beautiful women and a dive into a broken window from two-thirds up the tallest building in the world makes for one hell of a suspenseful ride. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to see this movie upon its December release.

ex-CIA father (Eric Bana) in the isolated Finland wilderness her entire life, Hanna flips a locator switch and it's game on. Albeit startled by modern electricity, television and food she didn’t hunt and kill herself, Hanna sets out in the civilized world to finish some unsolved business with intelligence operative Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett). A honed assassin, Hanna is eerily competent, heavily skilled and kicks some serious ass. Thrilling, action-filled and a little creepy, Hanna is definitely worth renting.

4 Hanna After training for a mission of vengeance with her

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Sponsor an LOD Membership

Music

, Rap and Rock ughneck Ro
Roscoe Dash: Ready Set Go!

Whether you’re into bloodpumping drum solos, hip hop beats of the dirty South or good ‘ol boy down-home music, we guarantee we have something worth adding to your collection.

Seether: Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray rd-

This Atlanta newcomer has come a long way from passing out mixtapes in the halls of his high school, and he’s getting some major hype concerning rfect recipe of ha The pe . his upcoming LP After his ting drum beats, solid hit hit “All The Way Turnt d not too much 2009 guitar work an Up” with Soulja Boy got his . This album may screaming name circulating, people e best thing yet to come be th predict his first full-length rn t of lead vocalist Shaun ou album will blow up and ea ab stint. Morgan’s reh him the street-cred he’s been working toward the past nine years.

Toby Keith: Clancy’s Tavern e

Doesn’t get much mor patriotic than this. Lately, it seems like ever y hit of to Keith’s is paying homage our beloved homeland, its … defenders and its citizens and that’s all right by us.

Country Song:

More mosh pit than hoedown

Turn It Up:
All the way, that is

Made In America:
Damn straight

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor View Patriot Profiles

Apps

When In Roam ...
Gun Log Cost: $0.99
Paper and pen at the range? Unnecessary. Gun Log lets you store all your firearm data on your mobile device, including maintenance, configuration and firing sets. Save all the information on your accessories, and store descriptions, serial numbers, notes, photos and purchase details. Don’t worry, none of your data is shared in any way, so all your inputs stay right on your device.

Remote Cost: Free
Turn your device into a virtual remote for your iTunes or Apple TV. Manage music, create playlists, change channels, adjust volume and view your library from anywhere in your house over your wireless network. You are now free to roam—anywhere.

Real Racing 2 HD Cost: $6.99
OK, honestly, just a fantastic timewaster. With the latest version you can play on your HDTV using AirPlay and race against friends with Party Play. We’re talkin’ 30 cars (including a 2010 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 and a 2012 McLaren MP4-12C), 15 locations and 40 miles of track. Two words: Bad. Ass.

Living Earth HD Cost: $0.99
No matter where you are on the planet, check in on your hometown weather and time. View the Earth in its current rotation and monitor storms, clouds, and sunrise/sunset times for any city in the world. Set alarms and stay in tune wherever you are, and wherever you want to be.

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Sponsor an LOD Membership

YouTube

Whoda Thunk?

If only drug traffickers were as creative in their career choices as they are with hiding places.

Smoked Out Firefighter

Job hazard … or benefit?

“Ooooo, that's going to leave a mark. Or two.”

Some of our Favorite YouTube Moments

Santa Smack Down
What he spent his time learning in the off-season.

Walk it off, buddy, just walk it off.

Civilian Survives IED Explosion

Sniper Super Shot

Dude, you just got totally owned.

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Like Us on Facebook

Games

TITLE

all Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 V C

Versus Battlefield 3

FIGHT

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Versus Battlefie

eld 3

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ...

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

... Versus Battlefield 3

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Versus Battlefie

eld 3

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R

T
Email the Editor

Buy Now

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ...

he eighth installment in the Call of Duty franchise, COD-MW3 from Infinity Ward is supposed to be the baddest mamma jamma since Mr. T’s ’fro. COD-MW3 is a direct follow-up to MW2 and continues the storyline of the Russian Federation invading the good ’ol U.S. of A. This time, the Federation has led its commie-asses into parts of Europe with campaign stages also planned for Somalia, Moscow, Dubai and Sierra Leone. Delta Force, Navy SEALs and SAS soldiers join forces to destroy the offensive while racking up the body count. Campaign mode will be extended beyond the length of MW2 with 15 separate missions and options to play a slew of different characters, most notably a Russian Protective Services Agent, an SAS Operator and a Tank Gunner. Playing in the co-op mode features the new Survival Mode; one or two players fight off swarms of attackers coming in intervals while the difficulty level increases with each wave. In accordance with the player’s position, swarms will repopulate in tactical positions, as opposed to fixed locations as seen in World at War Nazi Zombies mode. Survival Mode is an option in all multiplayer maps and players can accumulate upgrades towards ammo, weapons and calling in killstreaks. Another addition to Multiplayer Mode is a fully transformed killstreak reward system. Now, players choose one of three strike packages, “Assault,” “Support” or “Specialist.” “Assault” is the most similar to the default in MW2 and Black Ops offering Predator Drones and helicopters. “Support” does just that and offers helpful killstreak-rewards like UAVs and SAM-Turretts. “Specialist”, however, rewards players with extra perks in place of killstreaks. For example, players that have achieved a certain level of badassery and get two, four or six consecutive kills are granted unlockable proficiencies. Once the player completes eight consecutive kills, they are jackpotted with every perk until the player catches a bullet at which all perks are reset. COD has already claimed the “Game of the Year” belt with Modern Warfare 2; hopes are that MW3 will live up to its legacy. With the intense combat scenarios and a few clever upgrades, the latest edition of this reigning champ has critics everywhere on the edge of their cushions prepped with fresh double A’s.

Delta Force, Navy SEALs and SAS soldiers join forces to destroy the offensive while racking up the body count.

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Buy Now

B

BF3 has also unveiled Destruction 3.0, where the obliteration will be much more realistic.

... Versus Battlefield 3

attlefield 3 has paid its dues and beefed up from its previous versions to make weight for this title barn burner. With its 11th chapter in the Battlefield series from Electronic Arts (EA), BF3 is bigger, meaner, grittier and gnarlier than ever before. In fact, it has us so excited our thumbs may stay in an erect position for more than four hours. In this sequel, BF3 is set in 2014 near the Iran-Iraq border. Returning character Sgt. Blackburn is on a rescue mission for a U.S. team that disappeared while investigating chemical weapons sites. A terrorist plot to detonate hidden nukes in Paris and New York is also uncovered. A new feature has been added to Campaign mode where players can rescue fallen teammates and drag them to cover, which assists in the game’s unstructured play model. BF3 has also unveiled Destruction 3.0, where the obliteration will be much more realistic. With the redesigned version, structures will actually crumble to the ground, planes will suicide bomb an enemy stronghold, vehicles will explode and the player will actually feel tremors and earthquakes. Can’t seem to pinpoint the opponent hiding in a building? Shoot RPGs into it and witness the chaos unfold. Cooperative Mode will now offer a split screen option for all maps including Paris, Tehran, Sarajevo, Sulaymaniyah, New York, Wake Island and

Oman. Multiplayer mode allows the player to pick one of four roles to act as in game play: Assault, Support, Engineer or Recon. Assault class has the ability to arm themselves with med kits and defibrillators (as seen in Battlefield 2142), while Recon class is able to embed a radio beacon at any place in the map, allowing all group members to materialize upon its location. Multiplayer mode features nine maps and five separate game modes with significant overhauls to the vehicles (including a Growler ITV, an M1A2 Abrams Tank, an RHIB Naval Craft and an AH-1Z Viper Helicopter). Probably one of the most impressive improvements is BF3’s proprietary cross-platform free-of-charge social service, dubbed “Battlelog.” Battlelog features built-in text messaging, game stats and the ability to source other players through platform specific searching. In other words: Sick. BF3 also uses DICE’s brand-spanking-new Frostbite 2 engine, which features killer sound and wicked graphics to add to the insanity of your gameplay. Besides fulfilling nearly every childhood fantasy of ours (minus that one involving Carrie Fisher, a pony, and a vat of Marshmallow Fluff) BF3 has already pleasantly surprised many and has largely exceeded its subpar expectations in comparison. This underdog may very well deliver a swift kick to the knees to all of those who have greatly underestimated this release—which was probably all of us.

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Buy Now

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Versus Battlefield 3

The Tale of the Tape
SPECS Release Date Co-Developers Platform CODMW3 11/8/11 Sledgehammer Games & Raven Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS 60 20 packages over 9 months

BF3 10/25/11 DICE Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PS3, iOs 30 First DLC Package available in December featuring new weapons, vehicles and 4 maps Singleplayer, Multiplayer & Co-Op 12 missions + 10 Co-Op New weapons 9 Dedicated for PC, Xbox 360 & PS3 Specific weapon customization Destructible

Frames Per Second Downloadable Content

Modes Campaign Multiplayer Bonuses Maps Servers Weapons Environment

Singleplayer, Multiplayer & Co-Op 15 missions Killstreak reward system 16 Dedicated for PC through Steamworks New weapons and camos Non-Destructible

COD Black Ops Rezurrection Map Pack
As the fourth and final map pack for Black Ops, features include four remastered zombie maps from COD World at War. The “Nacht der Untoten”, “Verruckt”, “Shi No Numa” and “Der Riese” maps will have totally ridiculous visuals and sound quality on the modified IW 3.0 engine. A new map will also be added called “Moon” where players teleport to the celestial body to battle endless waves of zombies. Should at least hold you over a couple of hours before spending days conquering MW3. Cost: $15.00 unless you purchased the Hardened or Prestige editions of Black Ops, in which case it’s free Availability: Downloadable through the Playstation Store, Steam (PC users) and Xbox Marketplace

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Buy Now

Cost: $59.99 Availability: XBox 360

Forza Motorsport 4
point to dedicated areas within the vehicles and get specifications on the equipment through a new development called Autovista. Bonus: Have a Kinect with your Xbox? Forza 4 will have a tracking system that allows you to look left or right just by swiveling your head in real time.

If you’re not into racing games, the graphics of FM4 alone should convince you you’ve been missing out. With more than 500 cars you’ve only seen James Bond driving, like Aston Martins, Lambos and Bentleys, you can race against your friends or solo in tournaments. On select cars, the driver will have the ability to

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Buy Now

Cost: $59.99 Availability: XBox 360

Gears of War 3

It may have taken two years, but Gears of War has finally gotten it together. This thirdperson shooter is the last release for the “Locusts Invading Earth” storyline. Various multiplayer game modes are also available, including “Team Deathmatch,” “Warzone,” “Execution,” “King of the Hill,” “Capture the Leader” and “Wingman,” where two sets of five players battle. The recently developed Co-Op “Beast mode” makes its debut, where the roles are reversed and the user plays as the enemy, a locust, whose aim is to annihilate humans.

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Buy Now

Cost: $59.99 Availability: Xbox 360, PS3 & PC

Rage

The year is 2029 and our planet is desolate after being hit by an asteroid. Players are in a war against mutants to protect and reclaim what was once their home in this first-person shooter. “I Am Legend” anyone? Featuring two multiplayer modes, upgrades to weapons and ammo, and an option to participate in an in-game TV show, the noise about Rage is pegging our sonar screens. Releasing on three disks for Xbox and PC, but only two for PS3 due to its Blu-Ray technologies, developers have confirmed DLC content. We eagerly await the details.

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Like Us On Facebook

Roll of Honor
BY RICK STEWART

Fiinally, a web-based archive of service and honor for those who know the life of duty.

As my wife combed through her father’s records, she found a box filled with important papers and once-prized treasures of her father’s military service. She came across photos, awards and memorabilia— fascinating bits of personal history, but with little context to put their true meanings into perspective. It dawned on her that the box contained aspects of her father’s military service that she knew little about. A veteran herself, my wife decided she wanted to make sure our son learned about all that his grandfather and his parents had done in uniform. She wanted to make sure she recorded and archived important dates, places and earned awards as a kind of ongoing living testament. She found the perfect place to start such a project: the Roll of Honor (www.rollofhonor.org), a web-based archive, reservoir and database meant to preserve just the type of information my wife had in mind. The site’s user-friendly, step-by-step process allows military members, and even the families of veterans now deceased, the ability to log important dates, awards, training and duty stations of those who served.

The recent death of my wife’s father was a difficult time.

V I R T U A L WA R R I O R
Email the Editor Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

Roll of Honor
More than five years in development, Roll of Honor is the product of CauseResponse, a company committed to honoring those who have served this country. The site is constantly evolving, continuously updating found units, long-forgotten designations and relevant information dating back to 1776. If you try to enter your unit, MOS or assignment and the site does not recognize it, take heart that you too are adding important history to an ever-updating library. With the help of the site’s extensive but user-friendly wizard, my wife was able to begin the process of creating her profile. Like many who serve within the armed forces, especially those far-removed from their times of service, my wife had only vague recollections of a number of dates, unit numbers and others aspects of her service. In her opinion, one of the site’s greatest attributes is that the user can get help with that kind of information and even learn how to retrieve important military records that might have been misplaced. Our 14-year-old son may have summed up the most importance aspect of this site when he uttered such phrases as, “Wow, Mom. I didn't know you did that,” or “Guys, how come Grandpa never told me about that?” Freedom lives on because our veterans served. Let your service live on by adding your name to the Roll of Honor.

S P O N S O R E D

BY

A MODE R N C LASSIC R E BOR N

COLT .380 MUSTANG
Bigger doesn’t always mean better and Colt proves it with its latest re-introduction of a classic: the Colt .380 Mustang Pocketlite. An aluminum-alloy lower receiver helps to keep the new Mustang’s weight down. This svelte .380 tips the scale at 12.5 ounces—a good six ounces lighter than the original Mustang, which was produced from 1986 to 1997. The new Mustang also features tighter tolerances than its forbearer and should prove to be a good deal more durable and accurate. With a barrel length of 2 ¾" overall length of 5 ½" and a 7-round capacity, the new Colt .380 Mustang makes a perfect backup, pocket or purse gun.

>>

WA R R I O R

F E AT U R E S

S P O N S O R

>>

WA R R I O R

F E AT U R E S

S P O N S O R

>

+

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

Mar

Email the Editor

Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

Warrior Stories

You know a kid

who is attracted to the adventure, the structure and the discipline of military service ... but something is holding him back. Perhaps he has a nagging football injury, or his feet are flat, or his eyesight is bad.

rine Life
By R I C K S T E W A R T

Send this story to that kid.

Email the Editor

+
Like Us on Facebook

+

MARINE LIFE

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

Warrior Stories

+

+

+

+

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARIN

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

A
MARINE LIFE

s LE/Training Group Coordinator for Brownell’s, Duane Liptak displays the confidence, leadership quality and shooting ability one would expect from someone in such a critical position within an industry-leading company. But the long road Liptak traveled to get here has been a bumpy one—a road marked by two crashes, years apart, that both altered and set the course for life as he now knows it.
MARINE LIFE MARINE LIFE

NE LIFE

MARIN

On liberty, with the 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) during an exercise, Duane Liptak poses at Devils Garden near the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado.

+ + +

Warrior Stories

+ + + +

Duane Liptak’s Bronze Star with device for valor Liptak is pictured coming off the drop zone after his first jump at Army Airborne Jump School, Ft. Benning, Georgia.

+ + + + + + + + +

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

+ + + + + + + + +

Email the Editor

Sponsor an LOD Membership

... he lost control of his vehicle on the way to a dance with his girlfriend and hydroplaned into a bridge abutment.
Growing up in the small, blue-collar mining town of Weedville, Pa., Liptak learned early on the value of hard work, community and family. At about the age of 4, his father took him shooting for the first time with a .22 rifle and an extra helping of no-nonsense safety instruction. Shooting was an activity Liptak immediately fell in love with, and one at which he soon realized he excelled. Liptak had a good eye and natural instincts for finding the bullseye. Possessing the talents of a marksman, Liptak felt a strong calling to apply it one day as a Marine Scout Sniper. But at the age of 16, Liptak’s life, and seemingly his dreams for the future, changed in an instant. “A young man with a new driver’s license and no apparent fear of death,” as he described himself, he lost control of his vehicle on the way to a dance with his girlfriend and hydroplaned into a bridge abutment. His passenger was uninjured, but Liptak sustained extensive injuries, including a severed calf and a clean break of the humerus bone in his upper arm, which required insertion of a metal rod to repair. A few years later he would learn that, despite his complete recovery, the military would see this “retained hardware” as a MARINE LIFE disqualification for acceptance into the Marine Corps. Heartbroken, he made many visits to military recruiting stations that always resulted in the same answer: “No.” To Liptak, those “no’s” sounded more like “maybes” with a challenge attached to them. “Giving up can seem easy,” Liptak says today. “Whether it’s slogging through a swamp with a ruck on your back or life goals that you are talking about, the desire to give in is a natural response when things get hard. I learned my lessons on this as a young man: When something is worth doing, removing the words ‘No,’ ‘Can’t,’ ‘Won’t’ and ‘Never’ from your vocabulary leaves you with only one option: ‘Victory.’” Liptak never lost his ambitions for service but eventually realized

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

Warrior Stories
he needed to choose a different calling. He enrolled in college at Penn State University and began to pursue a degree in Administration of Justice for a career path in law enforcement. During his junior year of college, he visited a recruiter at Penn State’s Officer Selection Office. He was conditionally accepted pending approval of a waiver regarding the hardware in his arm, but just two weeks before he was scheduled to ship off for the Officer Selection Course, he was once again denied. Undeterred, Liptak refocused on studies to complete college and entered a residency program as a non-sworn officer of the University Police Department. Once he completed college, Liptak began work as a municipal manager and road master for Jay Township, less than a mile from where he had grown up. One day on a lunch break, Liptak saw a Marine recruiter walking across the street. The two-year window to resubmit his application had passed, so he followed the recruiter to

On Sept. 7, 1998, Liptak was off to Parris Island as a slick-sleeve pickle and enlisted recruit of the United States Marine Corps.
his office. With dogged persistence, he relentlessly lobbied the Corps until his waiver was finally approved and he was allowed to join. On Sept. 7, 1998, Liptak was off to Parris Island as a slick-sleeve pickle and enlisted recruit of the United States Marine Corps. While at boot camp at Parris Island, Liptak filled out a package for the Officer Selection Course. He did this more to pacify the commander who was breathing down his neck about applying his college education than he did for any personal desire to head in a different direction. Liptak was a “doer” and says he firmly saw his goals aligned with the enlisted career path. After boot camp, Liptak headed off to Camp Geiger, Captain Duane Liptak at Khaki Safed in the Farah Province of Afghanistan

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

MARINE L

LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE L

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

Email the Editor

View Patriot Profiles

+

Warrior Stories
On a Combat Reconnaissance Patrol (CRP) in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan

+

+

+

+

+

+

MARINE LIFE

+
MARINE LIFE

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

Liptak learned that the Marine Corps was starting up a new command called the Marine Special Operations Command, or MARSOC.

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

North Carolina, and the school of infantry as an O311, the MOS designation for a Marine infantry rifleman—or “bullet catcher,” depending on who is speaking. Liptak was an honor graduate from the school of infantry and was given his first duty assignment with the One-Seven: 1st Battalion/7th Marines Suicide Charley on the west coast in 29 Palms, California. He was given a fire team and spent a considerable amount of time training and honing his craft as an infantry rifleman and squad leader. About six months into this assignment, Liptak’s platoon sergeant came to him with news that he had been accepted for Officer

Warrior Stories

... it seemed like the only warriors truly engaged i

MARINE LIFE

MAR

Candidate School. For Liptak, this notification would provide the first tough decision he would have to make in his military career. Liptak truly enjoyed what he was doing and still held on to the possibility that at some point he might become a Marine Scout Sniper. But he also wanted to make a difference and believed he could accomplish more over time as an officer. At some point in Officer Candidate School, each candidate is allowed to create a wish list for where they would like to serve. Liptak was having misgivings about going back to infantry. At the time, it seemed like the only warriors truly engaged in the fight around the world were aviators. He decided if he was going to get into the thick of it all, he was going to have to fly. Liptak excelled and was selected for Marine Corps Aviation, eventually getting a pipeline for the F-18D Hornet.

Captain Duane Liptak stands armed with his MK18 duty rifle and side arm just north of Delaram, Afghanistan.

RINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

+

+

+

+

MARINE LIFE

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

in the fight around the world were aviators.

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

MAR

+

+

+

+

+

+

Warrior Stories

E

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

... this blue-collar kid who had taken maybe one or two commercial flights in his life was headed off to become a Marine Corps Aviator flying a supersonic fighter jet.

+

+

+

+

+

Email the Editor

Sponsor an LOD Membership

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

E

Now, this blue-collar kid who had taken maybe one or two commercial flights in his life was headed off to become a Marine Corps Aviator flying a supersonic fighter jet. Liptak’s first assignment as a fully trained aviator in the F-18D Major Duane Liptak and fellow was in Beaufort, S.C. Shortly aviators refuel their F-18D Hornets after his workups and required with a USAF KC-10 over Wake Island. flights under instruction, the squadron was deployed in January 2005 to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Liptak and his unit returned stateside in August 2005 to their home station in Beaufort, S. C. Upon his arrival, Liptak learned that the Marine Corps was starting up a new command called the Marine Special Operations Command, or MARSOC. This new entity within the MARINE LIFE MARINE LIFE total force structure of Joint Special Operations was met with both excitement and criticism among the ranks. In 2006 Liptak and others began the rigors of MARSOC training, including Airborne jump school at Ft. Benning, Ga. Having completed the Marine Infantry Rifleman School, Liptak caught the eyes of the newly formed command due to his knowledge and training as a Tactical Air Controller. A significant part of any Special Operation Command activity involves the ability and necessity to control aircraft over the theater of operation, call in close air support and rain death upon the enemy without killing your own forces on the ground. A Plank Owner of the newly established command, Liptak came

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

+

Warrior Stories
in as a Forward Air Controller /Joint Terminal Attack Controller or JTAC. Upon acceptance, Liptak went to TAPC school to learn to become a Terminal Attack Controller. Well-versed in the role from the ground looking down, this school provided him with the skills for performing the function from the ground looking up. In January 2007, MARSOC got its first orders for operational deployment. Little did they know things were going to end quickly and badly, and that MARSOC would receive a black eye no sooner than it had entered the ring. Within a few weeks on the ground for what was supposed to be a six-month deployment, insurgents ambushed a MARSOC convoy in an improvised explosive attack. The Marines responded, and a number of insurgents were killed—as were some “innocent civilians.” The locals were outraged. President Hamid Karzai and senior military leaders met, and it was determined that, pending an investigation, MARSOC would leave the country. Liptak was not on the mission when the incident occurred, but he and others were removed from Afghanistan by Lt. General Karl Eikenberry, the Senior U.S. Commander in theater. An investigation would later exonerate the actions of the Marines on the ground that day, but the black eye that MARSOC received was not easily healed. Liptak would deploy again to Afghanistan a year later in February 2008. This time he deployed to a fire base within the Farah Province, and the mission had a much different outcome. MARSOC had come to the theater with a greater sense of purpose and understanding for the role they were to play. It was during this deployment that Liptak was awarded a Bronze Star with a device for valor. On May 28, 2008, just prior to his rotation out of country, Liptak and others responded as a Quick Reaction Force to an Army Embed Training Team that had radioed a “Troops in Contact” emergency message. As MARSOC approached the village, they came under heavy fire from enemy positions less than 300 meters away. Liptak immediately returned fire with his M240B and began to coordinate with all available air assets in theater. Liptak’s experience both on the ground and as a Marine Corps aviator proved to be the perfect combination. Initially working with French Mirage Fighters and then with a United States Air Force B1

MAR

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+

+

+

RINE LIFE

+ +

It was during this deployment that Liptak was awarded a Bronze Star with a device for valor.

+

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MAR

Liptak is situated in the tail gunner position of his unit’s GMV in Herat Province, Afghanistan.

Email the Editor

View Patriot Profiles

Warrior Stories

Liptak stands in a field of poppies ready for harvest near Shewan, Afghanistan. MARI

bomber, he effectively called in GBU38/GBU31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions’ (JDAM) on to enemy positions within 290 meters of his team’s position. With more than 32 friendly vehicles in and around their contact area, Liptak had to carefully and confidently calculate 10-digit coordinates to engage the enemy without risking American or coalition partners’ lives in the process. With the first series of enemy targets silenced or in retreat, Liptak and his team moved into the village to root out any remaining hostile forces. Again, they came under fire. Liptak exposed himself to direct fire to provide suppressive fire and allow Marines pinned down to exfil an area in contact. Once again, Liptak called in airstrikes that resulted in killing the enemy, including some known high-value targets. Over an 18-hour engagement with the enemy, Liptak coordinated with more than seven aircraft as well as REAPER and Predator UAV assets for surveillance, and engaged an Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130 gunship for close air support and protection. “Whether we were dismounted in three-man clearing teams kicking doors, or positioning in locations to control air space, the operation made me feel that my training and service were both important to the fight and a force multiplier in the support of the mission,” Liptak said. In June, Liptak rotated back to the states and had to leave MARSOC or risk losing his rating as a Marine Corps aviator. Within four months of rejoining his aviation unit, he was deployed to Japan for six months. In July 2009, Liptak participated in a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB in Nevada, where aviators experience the closest thing to combat flying without actually being in combat. On March 10, 2010, a flight chief approached Liptak and his backseater with a request for them to do a check flight on a recently repaired aircraft. These flights were required before an aircraft with extensive maintenance could be put back into service and normally amounted to no more than a quick flight to put the aircraft through its paces. About 4 p.m., Liptak and his backseater took the aircraft out off the coast of South Carolina and began a routine flight check. Shortly after going to afterburners and reaching an air speed of Mach 1.3, they received instrument warnings that both engines were on fire.

MARIN

+ + + + + +

+

+ + + + + +
MARINE LIFE MARINE LIFE MARINE LIFE NE LIFE MARINE LIFE MARINE LIFE MARINE LIFE MARI

NE LIFE

MARIN

+ + + + + + + + + + + +
“A fire in one engine is manageable,” Liptak reflected. “You shut one down and use the other to limp back to base. But with both engines on fire, you know that things are about to go to hell in a handbasket.” The pair could see 30-foot flames coming out of the back of the aircraft. Liptak spooled back the engine, made a rapid descent and tried to lower the craft’s airspeed. He and his partner tried a variety of emergency tactics to bring the aircraft back to base, but instruments showed a catastrophic fuel leak was the cause of the engine fires. They would have to eject from the aircraft before it stalled from fuel starvation. After readying themselves for ejection, Liptak pulled the handle. Charges separated the canopy from the airframe and seconds later fired their seats up and away from the aircraft. Liptak says he vividly recalls the forces placed upon his body as the seat exited the aircraft. The initial windblast, even at a reduced airspeed of around two knots, is violent to say the least. The G-force was so intense that Liptak later said his eyelids were literally forced closed. His backseater even admits losing consciousness for a few seconds.

+

Warrior Stories
Above: Liptak participates in the Rock Castle Pro AM 3-Gun event outside Park Mammoth, Ky. Below: The convoy lead vehicle of Liptak’s Convoy Reconnaissance Patrol surveys a mountain pass in Afghanistan.

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

MARINE LIFE

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

Liptak says he remembers watching the fiery aircraft corkscrew toward the ocean below.
Liptak says he remembers watching the fiery aircraft corkscrew toward the ocean below. This was going to be his first water landing and it wasn’t exactly the way he thought it was going to take place. For a few seconds he had a fleeting concern about whether his parachute would deploy properly. When it did deploy, he noticed one of the gores of his canopy had a basketball-sized hole in it, but he could tell that his rate of descent was fine. Liptak and his backseater hit the ocean a couple hundred yards apart, inflated their life rafts and then paddled toward one another to tie their rafts together. It would take about an hour for the Coast Guard rescue helicopter to reach their location. Seeing it on the horizon, Liptak fired an initial flare from his pen gun. As excited as Liptak and his backseater were to see the helicopter come into view, they were equally dismayed when it flew right past them. When the helicopter turned and came back their way, Liptak fired a few additional flares and the helicopter spotted them and came to a hover overhead. A Coast Guard rescue swimmer jumped into the water and helped one man at a time into the rescue basket. Liptak, as the senior man, was last to be rescued. Injuries to his back as a result of the incident eventually disqualified him from future flying duties. As his commission and service date drew near, he was left with a big decision about whether to serve out the remaining eight years of his career. Liptak knew he would never fly again and would never qualify again for re-entry into MARSOC—and the thought of flying a desk had no appeal to him. After 12 years of service to his country, having reached the rank of major and the unique experience of fighting from both the air looking down and the ground looking up, Liptak left the Marine Corps for the next chapter in his life. Liptak continues to live with a never-say-die attitude. He has never, and will never, let life’s unfortunate circumstances define his existence. “It’s more comfortable to accept where you are and what you are doing and just drift, but that’s a hollow existence,” he says. “Set goals, achieve them, and then set new ones. Setbacks and momentary defeats only make success that much sweeter by comparison. “Theodore Roosevelt said it well… ‘Dare mighty things.’ I want to leave this life with as few ‘Could haves’ and ‘Should haves’ as possible.”

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

Email the Editor

Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

TOPSW
BY STEVEN M. BROWN

There is no fiercer competition than that among brothers in arms.

U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSH

WAT

HIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSH

ATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NAT

ATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . .

S
Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

ix elite law enforcement officers dressed in full tactical equipment stand silently outside the door of a nondescript house, the determined looks on each of their faces slightly obscured by protective eyewear and Avon Air Purifying Respirator masks. The officers know from the intelligence reports they’ve been provided that a gunman has barricaded himself inside the house. They also know that they’ll need to engage a number of targets even before they reach the gunman. Collectively, they’ve studied a diagram of the home’s interior, and they’ve had a scant five minutes to develop a plan of action. Each of the officers realizes that, once inside, every round fired must be on target. They know full well the cost of even one missed shot.

U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . .

Email the Editor

Sponsor an LOD Membership

The gunman is located, flex-cuffed and carried from the house. He bears a striking resemblance to a CPR dummy.

Suddenly the silence is broken— first by the thud of a battering ram as the door of the house is breached and then, violently, by the breathtaking, bone-rattling percussion of a flashbang grenade meant to stun and disorient the hostiles inside. Tactical lights slice through the smoky haze created by the flashbang and the six-man team splits into two three-man groups, quickly working through each room of the house. The officers engage several targets, firing their carbines with precise accuracy. As soon as each officer has emptied his carbine, he quickly transitions to his pistol. Hostiles are numerous, but the house is cleared in less than two minutes. The gunman is located, flex-cuffed and carried from the house. He bears a striking resemblance to a CPR dummy. Back inside, the other hostiles lay shattered about the house. They are clay targets, similar to but a good deal smaller than what you might test your shotgun Prior to skills on prior to a bird hunt. the Avon This was not an actual police operation, but if you ask someone Barricaded like Officer Tony Caspers, whose team has just exited the house, it’s Gunman about as close to real as you can get. stage, a “We have to go in, locate our threat, locate the suspects and competitor neutralize any threats or targets inside the house,” said Caspers, a is outfitted member of the Minneapolis P SWAT team. “A lot of these shots, a .D. with an Avon normal SWAT officer can make, but then they put you under time and Air Purifying Respirator. stress, and it gets a little tougher to make those shots.” This was the Avon Barricaded Gunman event at the 2011 U.S. National SWAT Championships, one of eight competition stages meant to challenge the speed, accuracy and teamwork of the top tactical teams from across the U.S. and around the world. The U.S. Shooting Academy on the northern outskirts of Tulsa,

. U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . .
Tem eos quatium expelle cestiun dandipsapis ut labo. Gitiur atinte nobis a venestrum exersperum facea volor aut hici ut atiis sequundem.

“There is something unnatural about letting your child go off to war.”

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

The trio of events is the brainchild of Dr. Jack O’Connor.

Okla., hosted the U.S. National SWAT Championships, Oct. 17-22. Now in its fifth year of operation, this gathering of elite tactical officers has actually grown to become three events staged over the course of a week, beginning with the U.S. SWAT Sniper Championships and National TacMed Championships on the first two days, followed by two and a half days of the SWAT competition. The trio of events is the brainchild of Dr. Jack O’Connor. A retired Army officer, Airborne Ranger and combat veteran, O’Connor is the executive director of the U.S. National SWAT Championships, and he works tirelessly to make sure this event runs safely and without a hitch while fulfilling the needs of all the competitors, some of whom have travelled from across the Atlantic to put their skills to the test here. He is aided by a wonderful team, which includes Rick Porter, a retired police lieutenant with over 30 years of experience as a patrolman, patrol Sergeant, K-9 supervisor, watch commander, Academy taining coordinator, and leader of an Emergency Response Team.

U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . .

The two days of sniper competition that opened the event brought in 31 teams from as nearby as Tulsa and as far away as Mecklenburg, Germany. In all, 12 states and three countries were represented. When picturing a sniper competition, one may envision a methodical, quiet event with marksmen slowly engaging only long-distance targets. That is far from the case at the U.S. SWAT Sniper Championships. The teams shot head-to-head over six live-fire stages set up to test not only the shooters’ accuracy, but also their decision-making abilities, their abilities to work together as a team and their physical fitness and stamina. The physical aspect of the sniper competition was what struck first-time competitor Jim Schondel of the Idaho National Laboratory security team, who referred to one specific event, the Schmidt & Bender Run and Gun, as particularly exhausting. The Run and Gun had a sniper and observer starting at a 300-yard firing line and engaging three targets in 30 seconds, then moving through obstacles to a 200-yard firing line, mounting a roof and engaging three more targets in a 30-second period. The team then moved to a 100-yard line, knelt behind barricades and engaged all remaining targets. Then, the fun part: The two-man team was required to move to a downed

. U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . .
Dr. Jack O’Connor is the managing general partner and executive director of the U.S. National SWAT Championships. A retired Army officer, Airborne Ranger and a combat veteran, O’Connor has had the good fortune to work with some of the world’s most elite military and law enforcement units over the past decade.

Email the Editor

Sponsor an LOD Membership

“Of all the calls I’ve been on, I’m probably as stressed here as I am on an actual SWAT call.”

U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U

U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . .

Email the Editor

Sponsor an LOD Membership

HAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CH

For the first time this year, the SWAT Championships included tactical medical training and a TacMed Championship. Participants in the training seminar had the opportunity to work on an extremely realistic Point of Injury Trauma Trainer from Operative Experience Inc. back 200 yards to the finish box. Schondel described the event as grueling but useful. Working through events like the Run and Gun, and the five other stages in the sniper competition, was an experience unlike the training he normally encounters on the job. “You can go out to the range and stand there and shoot all day long, but you don’t really test yourself unless you’re head to head with other teams,” he said. “It really gets the adrenaline through the roof. You have to control your nerves and make your shots. There’s no pressure like match pressure.” One of two SWAT teams from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office ultimately won the U.S. SWAT Sniper Championships (click here for full final results) and that jurisdiction’s Deputy Eric Blakeney echoed Schondel’s statement about the difference between normal training and competing in an event such as this. “You feel the adrenaline and the excitement,” Blakeney said. “You’re going against a stopwatch and also going head to head with the other competitors. Of all the calls I’ve been on, I’m probably as stressed here as I am on an actual SWAT call.” Running concurrent with this year’s sniper competition was a first for the U.S. National SWAT Championships—the inaugural National TacMed Championships. Twelve teams—six from Oklahoma, four from Texas, and one each from Colorado and Germany—competed over two live-fire stages designed to test basic emergency medical skill, physical fitness, teamwork, and weapons employment. Competitors ran the stages in full tactical gear and were required to both rescue victims and engage targets. One of two tactical medical teams from Tulsa County won the inaugural National TacMed Championships (click here for full final results), but all involved benefitted greatly from not only the competition but also the opportunity to exchange ideas with officers from other jurisdictions and the eight-hour block of training that was made available to participants. With the sniper and tactical medical competitions completed, the teams in attendance had a day to catch their breath before the real draw of this event—the SWAT Championships—kicked off Oct. 20. Twenty-three elite teams spent the next two and a half days testing their skills against some of the best tactical officers in the world, including the Bruce Power Nuclear Response team from Ontario, Canada. The Bruce Power

HAMPIONSHIPS . . “victim” (a dummy the size and weight of a human), pick it up and carry it .

Competitors ran the stages in full tactical gear and were required to both rescue victims and engage targets.

Email the Editor

Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

team spends the bulk of the year defending an eight-unit nuclear facility that provides approximately 25 percent of Ontario’s energy. Unlike a SWAT team from a sheriff’s office, the team from Bruce Power isn’t likely to be called into action on a regular basis, but their skills are honed as sharply as any tactical team in the world, as witnessed by their standing as the three-time defending champions of this event. “We take the selection of our people, their deployment, their training and their equipment very seriously,” said Bruce Power’s Deputy Chief of Emergency Protective Services John Latouf. “We pick the finest, we give them the best training and deploy them in a way that best defends our facility against threats.” Latouf described the U.S. National SWAT Championships as an excellent opportunity for his team to benchmark their performance against some of the best SWAT teams in the world and to get their adrenaline flowing with ultra-realistic competitive scenarios. “We obviously can’t give them gun calls like the police and military have, so this is the best way we can jack them up without actually having bullets go over their heads.” Besides the Avon Barricaded Gunman stage mentioned earlier, the 23 teams competed through seven other often-grueling stages, all designed to test speed, accuracy and teamwork. The public was invited to witness the championship, and one of the most entertaining stages for non-uniformed attendees was also perhaps the most exhausting for the uniformed competitors. The 5.11 Tactical Officer Rescue Stage took place on the U.S. Shooting Academy’s 300-yard range. Sixman tactical teams went head-to-head, two teams at a time, on the stage, which began with each team member drawing a poker chip from a bag. The officer who drew the red chip would play the part of a “downed patrol officer.” As the team members drew their poker chips, they could do little but cross their fingers and hope that it would be their 5'10", 175-pound colleague, and not the 6'2", 230-pound bruiser, who drew the red chip.

... they could do little but hope that it would be their 5'10", 175-pound colleague ... who drew the red chip.

The final leg of the 5.11 Tactical Officer Rescue stage required five members of the six-man team to carry the wounded sixth man 300 yards on a tactical litter—this after negotiating numerous obstacles and engaging multiple targets.

. U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPI

Email the Editor

Sponsor an LOD Membership

... first ramming through a door, then climbing hand-overhand ... crawling through a culvert and over a five-foot wall.

The team member designated as the “patrol officer” began the stage in a patrol car 300 yards downrange from the remaining five members of his team. The patrol officer was required to engage two targets from the window of the patrol car, then exit the car and lie motionless beside the vehicle. At that point, the rest of the team began to move down the 300yard course of fire, first ramming through a door, then climbing handover-hand across a horizontal ladder before crawling through a culvert and over a five-foot wall. At the end of the 300-yard course, the team engaged targets with both shotguns and carbines. It was then that the downed officer’s size really mattered. The five other team members were required to load this downed officer onto a tactical litter and carry him back 300 yards to the start/ finish line—all the while trying to beat the team lined up beside them. Perhaps more than any other stage of the competition, this was where attendees witnessed one of the truly remarkable aspects of the competition: the camaraderie shown not just within the individual teams, but also among the competing teams. As competitors struggled to carry their downed comrade over a berm and back 300 yards to the finish line, the crowd of teams waiting for their turns on the course roared with encouragement. “We’re all type A personalities,” said Officer Caspers from the Minneapolis SWAT Team. “We all want to win, but at the end of the day, when they’re pulling that guy 300 yards, we all appreciate it and we egg them on. We’ll get them there to the end.” Dr. O’Connor, the event’s executive director, says such displays of solidarity are what make a competition like this truly special.

.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSH

At the U.S. National SWAT Championships, physical ability is just as important as accuracy with a firearm. Nearly ever stage of the competition includes some sort of obstacle—or obstacles—that must be negotiated.

Email the Editor

Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

The Bruce Power team truly shined, placing first in six of the competition’s eight stages and coming in third in the other two.

“There is a camaraderie among tactical officers that you can’t explain to someone who hasn’t been a tactical officer,” O’Connor said. “It’s a brotherhood of arms. It’s the warriors who have been through the fight together. They try to beat each other, and they want to do well. They want to finish way in front of you. “But at the end of the day, we’re all on the same team. We all do the same thing and we respect each other. It’s a wonderful thing.” The team from Bruce Power ultimately bested the field here, successfully defending their back-to-back-to-back run as champs and winning their fourth U.S. National SWAT Championship in a row. The Bruce Power team, which Dr. O’Connor described as probably one of the best tactical teams in the world, truly shined, placing first in six of the competition’s eight stages and coming in third in the other two (click here for full final results). But even at the championship’s close, the respect among competitors was on display. As a testament to Dr. O’Connor’s “brotherhood of arms” statement, the Bruce Power team continued a tradition at the U.S. National SWAT Championships’ closing awards ceremony, humbly donating some of the most valuable prizes they had won to some of the very teams they had been competing against over two and a half grueling days.

U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U
The Bruce Power Nuclear Response team, shown here running the Woolrich Bullet Relay stage, placed fourth in the sniper competition and won the SWAT competition for the fourth year in a row.

U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . U.S. NATIONAL SWAT CHAMPIONSHIPS . . .

. . . NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING C

TOPCO
Email the Editor Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

OPS

CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLI

N RA’s National Police Shooting Championships draw the world’s best to Albuquerque, N.M.
Nearly 600 law enforcement officers attended the 2011 NPSC in Albuquerque. Some, like Axel Manthei (far l.), came from as far away as Germany.

Email the Editor

Sponsor an LOD Membership

. . . NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING C

Y

ou may know the National Rifle Association primarily for its political efforts, tirelessly fighting to protect every law-abiding American’s Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms. But there’s another side to the NRA.
Ever since its inception in 1871, the NRA has provided firearms training, competition and safety programs and has long been considered the leading authority in the promotion, instruction, and certification of safe, effective, firearm handling—not just for civilians but for members of the law enforcement community, too. The NRA’s Law Enforcement Division was established in 1960 to provide the law enforcement community with a certified and standardized law enforcement firearm instructor training program. Over the last 50-plus years, the LE Division has trained more than 50,000 law enforcement firearm instructors who have, in turn, trained countless officers nationwide. The culmination of all that training can be witnessed annually at the National Police Shooting Championships at the Shooting Range Park in Albuquerque, N.M. This year, from Sept. 17 to 21, almost 600 law enforcement officers from across the nation and around the world gathered in Albuquerque to put their skills to the test. Above (l. to r.): Greg Foster of SIG Sauer, Albuquerque PD retired deputy chief Mike Castro and Rick Johnson of Remington. Right: LAPD Detective Helen Papietro puts shots on target with her revolver.

CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLI

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

On Sept. 21, 2011, Florida-based U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz bested the field and claimed his third NPSC Grand Champion title. “I couldn’t be more excited,” Vadasz said. “Clay Tippett was mentor of mine back when I joined the Pistol Team. He is the only other Border Patrol Agent to win more than two National Police Shooting Championship titles. That’s what keeps me coming back, and that’s what motivates me to go after title number four.” “Robert has consistently performed at the highest of levels here at NPSC,” said NRA Law Enforcement Director Glen Hoyer. “Winning three titles was never a question of if for him, it was only a question of how long it would take.” Overall, U.S. Border Patrol had a strong showing at the 2011 NPSC, with Border Patrol Supervisor Enoch Smith coming in second place and another Border Patrol representative, Kevin Worrell, placing third. Stephanie Diaz of the Los Angeles Police Department was named Women’s Champion at the 2011 NPSC, while Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries’ Aron Hastings won the High New Shooter category. Alberto Demacedo of Policia Judicial Venezuela took home the High Non-U.S. Citizen title. The 2012 National Police Championships will take place at the NPSC Police Pistol Combat ranges at Shooting Range Park in Albuquerque on Sept. 16-20, 2012. Full results of the 2011 NPSC are available at www.nrahq.org/law/ competitions/npsc/past.asp.

NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING CHAMP

Top: Radio talk show host Andrew Wilkow speaks at the 2011 NPSC. Above: Members of the New Mexico State Police competed in the New Mexico Challenge, designed for first-time competitors. Far left: 2011 NPSC Champion Robert Vadasz (center) with Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey (l.) and NRA General Operations Executive Director Kayne Robinson (r.). Left: 2011 NPSC Women’s Champion Stephanie Diaz with Ermey and Robinson.

PIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLICE SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . NATIONAL POLICE CH

By RICK STEWART

BLIND SPOT?
»»
nd Spot? TH E BO RD ER: PA RT 1 America’s Bli

AMERICA’S

THE BORDER: PART 1

merica’s Blind Spot?

»»

TH E B

The following is the first in a series of exclusive NRA American Warrior articles covering the national security implications of our nation’s porous border with Mexico.

ot? BO RD ER: PA RT 1 America’s Blind Sp

»»

nd TH E BO RD ER: PA RT 1 America’s Bli

THE BORDER: PART 1 America’s Blind Spot?

»»

THE BORDER: PART 1 America

Lt. Matthew Thomas with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team coordinates with others during a desert manhunt after a suspect fired on an officer during a multi-agency task force operation.

Email the Editor Like Us on Facebook

a’s Blind Spot?

»»

THE BORDER: PART 1 America’s Blind Spot?

»»

THE BORDE

W

hen those responsible for our national security look over their shoulders toward the threats gaining upon us from our southern border, do they see what the experts on the ground see on a daily basis? Or has something created for them a bit of a blind spot?
For some, like Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano, our borders have never been safer. Yet others claim that a disaster of unprecedented proportion is right around the corner—a ticking time bomb, ready to blow our national security to kingdom come. It’s not exactly a military invasion—but it is an invasion, nonetheless. How then, do Americans sift the bull from the bullshit? How do they get beyond the political agendas, personal bias and party lines? Someone is right. And somewhere in all the gumflappery is where the real truth resides. Where do you stand? And how would

Email the Editor Sponsor an LOD Membership

There is nothing more powerful than truth—nothing more cleansing and nothing more comforting, even when it’s not what we want to hear.

THE BORDER: PART 1 America’s Blind Spot?

your opinions change on this issue if, for a few minutes, you could ignore the press, discount the politicians and just listen to those on the frontlines? There is nothing more powerful than truth—nothing more cleansing and nothing more comforting, even when it’s not what we want to hear. If you want the truth about an issue, the fastest way to get it is to observe it with your own eyes—or to spend time with the folks who live within that truth every day. You have to stop listening to those who say “I think” and start listening to those who know. You have to start listening to the boots on the ground. The issues surrounding our southern border are far too big, and have far too grave a consequence, to have anything but our most ethical, principled and credible resolve applied to them. As with any issue pertaining to national security, the patriot knows that there is no room for right or left—only right and wrong. NRA American Warrior magazine has an obligation to report facts and investigate stories of national

»»

THE BORDER: PART 1 America’s Blind Spot?

»»

THE BOR

R D E R: TH E BO Spot? ’s Blind America PA RT 1

»»
R D E R: TH E BO Spot? ’s Blind America PA RT 1

Deputies from Pinal County pile into the back of a department pickup truck and prepare to conduct a search for the suspect who fired on another officer.

»»
R DE TH E BO

Email the Editor Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

One thing that became apparent is that, by and large, the American public is unaware of what is really happening along our border with Mexico.

significance with objectivity and unbiased candor. As we recently pursued a story for NRA Life of Duty’s Patriot Profiles about an Arizona SWAT team with a unique role in interdicting illegals and illegal activity 70 miles inside our border, we got far more than we ever imagined. And we began to see a story emerge about our national security that could not be ignored. Cameras rolling and questions flying, it became evident that there was an even bigger story behind the profile of these heroic frontline men and women—a story we felt obligated to share with both our NRA American Warrior and NRA Life of Duty family. During our visit, we quickly saw how complicated, convoluted and contentious the issue really is. One thing that became apparent is that, by and large, the American public is unaware of what is really happening along our border with Mexico. In this age of 24-hour news cycle and sound bite snippets, many aspects of the border situation get lightly covered or completely ignored. What the American people really need is an in-depth look at the border as a whole. We believe our obligation is to present this story with the depth it warrants; thus we will present our story in installments over the next several issues. Our NRA Life of Duty crew went to the border with a biased agenda: to capture a positive story about men and women in uniform. We came away with the desire to present an unbiased and untainted look at border truths, their national security implications, and the people who serve us in that embattled area. Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu and his staff invited us along for several days to observe a multijurisdictional/multiagency operation. Not once did any member of his office or any deputy we rode with try

Email the Editor Sponsor an LOD Membership

TH E BO RD ER: PA RT 1 Amer ica’s Blind Spot?

to tell us what we did or didn’t need to see. Our access was unfettered, and our questions were met with amazing candor, not delays for clearance or official response. Due to the sensitive nature of these operations—and the need to protect the tactics, techniques and procedures used by the law enforcement officers who risk their lives to deploy them— we did not film, nor will we discuss, anything that would undermine the work or safety of law enforcement officers or betray the trust they demonstrated in us. On the first night’s operation and others to follow, we stood with men in full battle rattle, complete with helmets, night-vision goggles, automatic firearms and sophisticated communication gear, watching them assemble for something that certainly looked like war. The silent preparations of these desert warriors was interrupted only by radio chatter, both on the ground and in the air, as these warriors zeroed in on the illegal intruders they would soon intercept. The dangers were real, and the unknowns and unexpected were weighed and prepared for as much as possible. The tactics used have been practiced and honed; their responsibilities were clearly established; and now, aside from a signal to launch, the only thing these men could do was trust in their training and one another. We witnessed desert operations involving the interdiction of illegal aliens involved in drug smuggling, the takedown and early morning raid of a known drug house with known cartel members in it, and a manhunt for individuals who fired upon police officers during a night operation. We saw firsthand the activities of human/drug trafficking and the turf wars erupting between rival cartels, rip crews and others. The eye-opening experience was incredibly humbling and informative. Our warriors on the southern border put their lives at risk every day, even while they’re often not as well equipped as the spotters, smugglers and cartel members they come up against. They engage in work that looks like “forwardless progress,” since while they are 100 percent engaged in doing their job, they are up against an increasing flow of traffickers to replace those caught and a government that seems to be working against them. They have little

»»

TH E BO RD ER: PA RT 1 Amer ica’s Blind Spot?

»»

TH E BO RD

DPS SWAT, deputies from Pinal County and members of the U.S. Border Patrol gather to coordinate search efforts.

The tactics used have been practiced and honed; their responsibilities were clearly established; and now, aside from a signal to launch, the only thing these men could do was trust in their training and one another.

THE BORDER: PART 1 America’s Blind Spot?

»»

THE BORDER: PART 1 America’

interest in being anybody’s show ponies or political fodder. They serve to keep their communities, and all of America, safe. In addition to the interviews we conducted with members of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, we also had a chance to speak with members of the U.S. Border Patrol, Department of The Interior, ICE and officers from other city and county agencies. We spoke with local residents who live within 70 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border. Their comments and quotes will be included throughout the course of these stories.

An Arizona Highway Patrol SWAT officer dons protective gear, grabs his service firearm and prepares to search for a potential cartel member.

Email the Editor Like Us on Facebook

’s Blind Spot?

»»

THE BORDER: PART 1 America’s Blind Spot?

»»

THE BORDER

Our southern border security is compromised by many issues, from illegal immigration to human trafficking, drug trafficking, the flow of guns and other illicit commodities. Our wide-open back door has most definitely left America vulnerable to acts of terrorism by those hell-bent on destroying us. Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, many experts warned that America was vulnerable to attack from radical extremists and others set on destroying our country. Some predicted the threat would come from chemical, biological or radiological attack. Some predicted it would stem from homegrown sources. Others believed it would occur at the hands of terrorists exploiting our weak borders and even weaker immigration enforcement. In hindsight, the evidence was all around us that disaster was looming. And while no one predicted that it would be commercial planes crashing into buildings or flown into targets by people willing to die for their ideals, it does seem that the inevitable was inflicted upon the vulnerable because the predictable was politicized and polarized by parties with an agenda deemed more important than the people they vowed to protect. Yet in the wake of the unthinkable, Americans who saw it unfold on television or in real life clamored for a cause, demanded an explanation.

’s Blind Spot? R: PA RT 1 America TH E BOR DE

Sheriff Paul Babeu is an outspoken critic of those soft on America’s growing border threats. He worries that his deputies, the citizens of his county and of this country are vulnerable to threats that can and should be addressed.

»»

’s Blind Spot? R: PA RT 1 America TH E BOR DE

»»

TH E BOR

Email the Editor Like Us on Facebook

The threat of terrorism is just as real today. And our open, porous, unprotected border makes us extremely vulnerable to attack.

“How the hell could this happen?” we wondered out loud. “What can we do to prevent it from happening again?” History had demonstrated, once again, that in the absence of action, catastrophe itself had forced our hand to do something—even if it was too late for those who died. While the 9-11 commission spent months and millions to make sense of the senseless, the truth was with us all along. Today, a lack of security on our southern border still offers truth all around us, even if we don’t want to see it. The issue of our southern border and the totality of the threats we face from it are eerily similar to those we faced in the years leading up to Sept. 11, 2001. So complex were the issues and endless threat possibilities that many failed to act or buried their heads in the sand and pretended that if we ignored it, it might go away. The threat was real then, whether we believed it or not. And every American with a television set was an eyewitness to what happens when we fail to act. The threat of terrorism is just as real today. And our open, porous, unprotected border makes us extremely vulnerable to attack. When some were sounding the alarm, others within the media and the highest levels of government were calling them alarmist, extremist and worse. Today, as some try to expose the real threats brewing along our southern border, once again there are those within the media, politically motivated groups and even in the highest levels of government who want to shoot the messenger and twist the message. Will history repeat itself? Beyond economic issues, immigration reform, job loss, drug/human trafficking, and other issues pertaining to the U.S./Mexican border, the greatest single threat to the United States is the threat of terrorism and the absolute ease which people have in crossing that border for any number of

Email the Editor Like Us on Facebook

reasons. Every day, thousands cross our southern border illegally. Some are caught, but most are not. During one of the operations we observed while embedded with the Pinal County Sheriff’s team, drug smugglers were intercepted about 70 miles inside our border. One of the illegals caught that night was only 14 years old. He had been traveling for seven days carrying a 50-pound load of dope. Whether he was carrying it because a cartel made him do it by threatening him or another family member, whether he was doing it for the economic windfall, or whether he wanted to remain in America once he had fulfilled his obligation to the cartel is of little relevance. The real issue is that a young boy with no desert training or experience made it 70 miles inside our borders with 50 pounds of dope on his back. During my visit to Pinal County, Lt. Matthew Thomas, a deputy and SWAT leader there, switched roles with me by posing a few questions of his own. What would happen, he asked, if an enemy of our country, with military expertise, desert training and a desire to strike terror in America, wanted to slip through that same border? What if the person who slipped through our border wasn’t carrying 50 pounds of dope, but rather a high-yield explosive or a chemical, biological or radiological bomb? What if the person that slips through our open border has ties to a terrorist cell operating or forming within America with plans to attack massive targets and population centers? Sheriff Babeu echoed the same thoughts. “What if,” he asked rhetorically, “a person could slip across our border with a dirty bomb and get this close to Phoenix, America’s sixth largest city?” Truth is, we need to secure America’s southern border now—today—and by

lind Spot? 1 America’s B PA RT T H E B O R D E R:

»»

merica D E R: PA RT 1 A TH E BOR

Truth is, we need to secure America’s southern border now—today—and by every means possible.
every means possible. We must not wait until next year, until after the next election or until we finish whatever personal agenda we have that stands in the way. In the next few issues of NRA American Warrior magazine, we will present information on the aspects of the border that make up a dangerous whole. Next issue, we begin with an in-depth look at the “The Fence”—real, virtual and otherwise—as we continue to present important facts many in America are not able to hear. Eyes in the sky provide overwatch capability and aerial observation for law enforcement officers on the ground.

a’s Blind Spot?

»»

lind Spot? 1 America’s B PA RT T H E B O R D E R:

»»

TH E BOR DE

By Mark Chesnut

FROM HER

Email the Editor

Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

RO TO ZERO
How thousands of our military men and women are losing their Right to Keep and Bear Arms after returning home to the United States.

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

Warrior Stories

I

magine—and this won’t be hard for many NRA American Warrior readers— that you made a decision at an early age to dedicate your life to fighting for freedom and protecting the country you love. To you, it was a no-brainer. It just seemed like the natural thing to do—the only thing to do.
Now imagine that while serving your country in, say, Afghanistan, you sustain serious injuries from an IED explosion. Shrapnel enters your skull causing brain trauma and ending any chance you have of continuing to serve in a combat capacity. The stress and strain of weeks in the hospital, just to ensure you survive the wounds, are nearly all you can handle. And the months, even years, of therapy ahead of you makes you feel like all the problems of the world have been laid right in your lap. If you’re like many young men or women in this situation, the last thing you can concentrate on is taking care of your finances. You may even be temporarily unable to manage your disability compensation payments. Your wife or one of your parents does the logical thing and assigns a trusted individual as a fiduciary to handle your disability check and other financial issues while you concentrate on healing.

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

FROM

Now fast forward. A year and a half later, you’ve recovered from your injury and are able to manage on your own. You’ve decided that for the first time since joining the Army eight years ago you’re going to get back out in the woods and enjoy a little deer hunting when the season opens. And that little bolt-action .243 you’ve been eyeballing down at Bass Pro Shops would sure make your return to the deer stand more fun. You drive to the store, and a quick glance behind the counter reveals the gun is still there. “I’ll take it!” you jubilantly tell the sales clerk. Things are finally starting to come together again. Mere minutes later you’re walking out of the store—hands empty, shoulders slumped, head bowed. You—a veteran who has

You have just failed the instant background check required to purchase a gun.

M H E RO TO Z E RO FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO FROM H E RO

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

“Since 1999, the VA has routinely passed on names to the FBI for inclusion on the National Instant Criminal Background Check.”

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

paid an extremely high price fighting for freedom, and who has never committed a crime or done anything else to be ashamed of—have just failed the instant background check required to purchase a gun in the very country you love and have given so much to protect. There’s no doubt that those who serve our country, both at home and abroad, are today’s true heroes. They lay their lives on the line daily, and each and every one deserves our utmost respect. What they don’t —Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C deserve, however, is to return home from a hazardous tour of duty and find their Right to Keep and Bear Arms—one of the freedoms they’ve fought so valiantly to protect—has been stolen from them because of single, misinterpreted swipe of the pen by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “Since 1999, the VA has routinely passed on names to the FBI for inclusion on the National Instant Criminal Background Check,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. “These are veterans who, for a number of reasons, are assigned fiduciaries to handle their finances, to handle those disability checks, and by what the VA has interpreted the letter of the law, they’re required when they assign fiduciaries to then take away their Second Amendment right. “A fiduciary is meant to determine one’s financial responsibility,” Burr added, “rather than to make a determination as to whether somebody is a danger to himself or herself. In this particular case, the blurred lines between those two aren’t even acknowledged by the VA.” The law regarding NICS background checks disqualifies anyone who has been adjudicated “mentally defective” from

arapak AP Photo/Charles Dh

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO
Email the Editor

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

FROM

Sponsor an LOD Membership

“Today there are roughly 114,000 veterans and veterans’ family members who have had their ability to purchase a firearm in the U.S. stripped away.”
Chris W. Cox, executive director NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action

purchasing a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer. According to Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, the problem arises when a veteran who is eligible for disability compensation, a pension or other benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs has a fiduciary appointed to act on his or her behalf to handle these monetary issues. Under the Veterans Administration’s interpretation of the law, these former warriors are lumped under the “mentally defective” category, thereby denying their Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “Today there are roughly 114,000 veterans and veterans’ family members who have had their ability to purchase a firearm in the U.S. stripped away,” Cox said. “These are men and women who not only swore an oath to support the Constitution, but who risked their lives, lost their limbs and suffered the immense pain of separation from their families, all to defend our constitutional rights. How can this happen?” Such a travesty seems unthinkable. How can it be that these veterans are denied a constitutional right for having a fiduciary assigned, yet Americans receiving similar benefits from Social Security, and who also have a fiduciary assigned, are not affected? “Since 1999, 114,000 veterans in our country have lost their right to own firearms,” Sen. Burr said, “and because they lose that right, so does

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

the right of any individual that lives in their house. Now when you put that in contrast to the Social Security system that has over 7.6 million people assigned fiduciaries and they have never passed a name on for inclusion on the NICS list.” That’s why the Veteran’s Second Amendment Protection Act has been introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The House measure, authored by U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., has been approved. And the Senate version of the measure, authored by Burr and U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., has been moved out of committee. Sen. Burr is hopeful it will see action soon on the Senate floor. “It’s my hope that Sen. [Harry] Reid will see the merits of this,” Burr said of the Senate Majority Leader. “We have 18 co-sponsors, we have companion legislation in the House of Representatives, and if it doesn’t happen soon, it’ll be the amendment to every piece of legislation that ZERO FROM H E RO TO Z E RO FROM H E RO TO Z E RO FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont. leaves the United States Senate.” The Senate legislation would amend Title 38 to stipulate that in any case arising out of the administration of benefits by the VA, a veteran, surviving spouse or child who is not mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent or experiencing any extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered to be adjudicated as “mentally defective” for the purposes of inclusion on the NICS list without first having a judge, magistrate or other judicial authority determine the competence of that individual. “In essence, the bill would protect America’s veterans from a loss of rights that Americans who don’t get veterans’ benefits don’t have to worry about,” said NRA-ILA’s Cox. “The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action has fought long and hard for veterans’ rights on this issue, and we now look forward to continuing our fight in the Senate. “This is an issue that really hits home for us at NRA. Our organization was founded by military veterans in 1871, and our members have proudly served this nation ever since. A good number of the men and women in our current NRA family are either veterans themselves or have immediate family members who served in the military. Many of our members are also currently deployed far away from home or have loved ones serving overseas.” One would think such a measure designed to clear away unfair hurdles for our men and women in uniform would have universal support. However, that’s not the case. The gun-ban lovers at the Brady Campaign, an anti—Chris W. Cox gun group that fights against gun rights even for military members and veterans, oppose the legislation. In fact, they’ve already ratcheted up the lie machine, pushing incorrect information out to both the media and their members. FROM H E RO TO Z E RO
lce Ceneta, File AP Photo/Manuel Ba

“In essence, the bill would protect America’s veterans from a loss of rights that Americans who don’t get veterans’ benefits don’t have to worry about.”

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

Email the Editor

View Patriot Profiles

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

FROM H E RO TO

The 114,000 veterans already caught up in this freedom-crushing trap is 114,000 too many. However, Burr believes many more of our men and women in uniform could be affected soon. And it’s likely some readers of NRA American Warrior could be in that group.
“The Brady Campaign opposes the ‘Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act,’ which would repeal longstanding regulations barring mentally incompetent persons from possession firearms,” the group claims on its web site. “If passed, this legislation would allow mentally ill persons to possess firearm even if the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has determined that they are 1) ‘mentally incapacitated,’ 2) ‘mentally incompetent,’ or 3) ‘experiencing an extended loss of consciousness.’” Of course, those claims are false to their very core. But anyone familiar with the group won’t be surprised by their all-too-familiar pushing of emotion over fact. For his part, Sen. Burr believes that most Americans would be in support of the legislation if they knew all the facts. “I think the rights of the American people are a bipartisan issue,” Burr said. “And I think no matter where you go in the country, there’s a large segment of America that says the Second Amendment is something we want to protect. We want to protect it for everybody, including veterans.” U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. To be sure, the 114,000 veterans already caught up in this freedom-crushing trap is 114,000 too many. However, Burr believes many more of our men and women in uniform could be affected soon. And it’s likely some readers of NRA American Warrior could be in that group. “What alarms me now is we’ve got a tremendous amount of OEF and OIF veterans who will come out, especially as we draw down our forces in
Jackson AP Photo/Lawrence

ZERO

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

FROM H E RO TO Z E RO FROM H E RO TO Z E RO

Afghanistan and Iraq,” Sen. Burr said. “Many will be assigned fiduciaries to take care of their finances. Maybe it’s because of a physical limitation that they’ve got. These kids, in this case, will lose their Second Amendment right if we don’t change this before their separation.” And that loss would be tragic—especially to an organization like the NRA, with substantial emphasis on the both Second Amendment and support of our armed forces. “More than any other organization,” said NRA-ILA’s Cox, “we consider it an abject tragedy that so many of our veterans return home, after risking life and limb to defend our freedom, only to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights because they need help managing their compensation. Our war heroes deserve the same due process under the law that all Americans enjoy, and they deserve it now.” Cox said that the recent Veteran’s Day observance helped remind many Americans of the debt we owe our veterans. But we can’t just remember these heroes—and work to help them—on one single day out of the year. “We should also honor them by encouraging our senators to pass the ‘Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act,’” Cox said. “Our government needs to treat the constitutional rights of our veterans with the same reverence it extends to other Americans. “It’s the least we can do for those who risked their lives protecting us and defending our freedom.”

Any veteran dealing with this issue can contact NRA-ILA’s Office of Legislative Counsel for assistance. Call (703) 267-1161 or send an e-mail to ILAlegal@nrahq.org.

Email the Editor Visit NRA Life of Duty Network

he 12-ga. shotgun was once the partner for every law enforcement officer in the United States. And although the shotgun has the ability to deliver decisive stopping power in many critical situations, its popularity has waned in recent years, due partly to the

T

SHOTGU ON PA
By R IC HAR D JOH NSON

If you’ve hung up your 12-ga. shotgun in favor of an AR-style patrol rifle, new technology might have you rethinking that decision.

UNS ATROL
proliferation of AR15-style patrol rifles. However, the 12 ga. has never been a better choice for law enforcement than it is today. With a multitude of advancements in stock design, sighting systems and ammunition selection, the shotgun offers many features that make it a rightful partner in the squad cars of cops throughout the nation.

Photo courtesy Cliff Patrick/Tactical Image

SHOTG U NS

CORNERING THE STOCK MARKET One of the major complaints about the 12-ga. shotgun is that it “kicks” too hard to be used effectively. For most officers, better shooting technique can tame the recoil of the trusty smoothbore— so, too, can the addition of a readily available aftermarket replacement stock. The SpecOps replacement buttstock from BLACKHAWK! is available for most pump shotguns, including the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500/590 series. The stock installs very quickly—anyone with a screwdriver can manage the chore in less than 10 minutes—and has a profound effect on felt recoil. The SpecOps has an M4-like adjustable buttstock and a pistol grip. The adjustable stock allows the shotgun to be adapted to all sizes of police officers wearing varying amounts of gear. But the recoil reduction capabilities of the stocks are not readily visible from the outside. The SpecOps stock has a variable rate cam recoil system in the pistol grip that absorbs a large amount of the felt recoil when shooting the gun. A rear compression recoil spring system in the buttstock also absorbs recoil, though not as much as the variable cam system. As the shotgun is fired, the receiver is pushed back on a short track located on the SpecOps stock. The cam system and compression spring system retard the rearward movement of the receiver, thereby absorbing much of the recoil. How much recoil is absorbed by the SpecOps stock? According to BLACKHAWK!, felt recoil is reduced up to a whopping 85 percent! The Gen II version of the SpecOps stock should be available by the time you read this. It features several improvements over the original design, including interchangeable rubber grips, more adjustment positions in the stock (seven vs. five) and a multitude of sling attachment points (single- and multi-point).

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

SHOTG U NS

The SpecOps replacement stock features two recoil-reduction devices. One in the pistol grip absorbs the majority of the recoil energy, and a second one in the buttstock handles the rest.

... the recoil reduction capabilities of the stocks are not readily visible from the outside.

Email the Editor

Sponsor an LOD Membership

Aimpoint’s Micro T-1 has four night visioncompatible settings and eight daylight settings. It’s as well suited to a shotgun as it is to a rifle or pistol.

Photo courtesy BrassFetcher.com

... more kinetic energy than a double-tap of .40 S&W ammo at point-blank range.

The ghost-ring sights also allow officers to easily place buckshot on targets at much closer ranges.
SIGHTS AND SLUGS A shotgun may never be the equal of a patrol rifle when it comes to putting rounds on target at long ranges, but recent advancements in both slug design and sighting options make the shotgun a viable force option when engaging targets well beyond 25 yards. Ghost-ring sights allow an officer to quickly acquire a target and accurately put slugs downrange at distances beyond 75 yards. The ghost-ring sights also allow officers to easily place buckshot on targets at much closer ranges. Recent years have seen a proliferation of “red dot” or holographic sights for rifles. These sights allow officers to easily put accurate fire on target in all lighting conditions while keeping both eyes open. What some officers may not realize is that many of these same optics can be used successfully on their shotguns. The Aimpoint Micro T-1 is one such sight that is designed to withstand the repeated abuse of shotgun recoil. The T-1 is a nonmagnifying optic with a variable brightness, 4 MOA red dot. The T-1 uses a battery that, according to Aimpoint, can run the sight for 50,000 continuous hours. The sight is also submersible to 80 feet, so exposing the sight to a rainstorm isn’t likely to affect it. To complement the sights, the use of slugs is mandatory for engagements beyond about 20 yards. Fortunately, all of the major ammunition manufacturers make quality shotgun slugs suitable for law enforcement duties. One example is the Federal Premium Tactical Rifled Slug (Reduced Recoil). The slug is rifled for better stability in flight, and it uses the proven Hydra-Shok hollow point. The reduced recoil designation on this round provides a softer shooting experience, yet still makes for 1300 f.p.s. at the muzzle with a large 438-grain projectile. At 75 yards, the slug is still moving at 966 f.p.s. and is generating 907 ft-lbs of energy—more kinetic energy than a double-tap of .40 S&W ammo at point-blank range.

SHOTG U NS

Federal Premium’s Tactical Rifled Slugs feature a 1-ounce Hydra-Shok slug that provides dymanic expansion without over-penetration.

Email the Editor

Like Us on Facebook

ALS1200 Hydro-Kinetic Impact Bag from ALS Technologies
Photo courtesy LessLethal.com

LESS LETHAL ALTERNATIVE One huge advantage the shotgun has over the patrol rifle is the seemingly infinite number of less lethal projectiles available to take a subject into custody when an alternative to deadly force is needed. The most frequently used less lethal round is some variation of the beanbag round. These rounds launch an impact munition encased in a fabric from a standard 12-ga. shell. Some rounds use a square bag that opens in flight, while other rounds launch a teardrop-shaped bag that offers slightly better range and accuracy. Other 12-ga. less lethal loads use foam, rubber or wooden slugs (sometimes called baton rounds) or rubber balls. For tactical use, 12-ga. rounds designed to penetrate barriers and then deploy CS or OC gas are also available. Additionally, TASER markets a less lethal projectile called the XREP (extended Range Electronic Projectile). The XREP is a 12-ga. load that delivers an electronic control device (ECD) onto the target at up to 100 feet. The XREP uses the same electronic control technology the company uses in its X26 and X2 ECDs. Since a shotgun can fire less lethal or lethal munitions in the same gun, great care must be taken to prevent the mixture of ammunition in the gun. Under stress, an officer can make a mistake and fire buckshot when a less lethal alternative was the proper response. For that reason, departments frequently require all shotguns using less lethal munitions to be colored orange and marked as “less lethal.” Some departments also prevent officers who carry a less lethal shotgun from carrying a standard shotgun and ammunition on duty. While many have turned their back on the 12-ga. duty gun, the shotgun remains an effective firearm for law enforcement in the 21st century, especially with its role expanded to include less lethal force options. Departments would do well to consider all of the roles a shotgun can play in their department’s deployment of force in violent encounters.

The XREP is a 12-ga. load that delivers an electronic control device (ECD) onto the target at up to 100 feet.
SHOTG U NS The XREP projectile can be fired from any 12-gauge pumpaction shotgun to a maximum range of 100 feet. Four barbed electrodes in the nose attach to the target on impact and deliver 20 seconds of neuromuscular incapacitation. In other words: It shocks the piss out of the bad guy.

”PATRIOT”
TO

BEFORE YOU GO! TEXT

AND GIVE $5
LIFE OF DUTY.
$5.00 donation to NRA Foundation. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms: mGive.org/T

50555

FOR THOSE WHO LIVE THE

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful