Post Traumatic Growth 160304

The Will to KILL.

You are the weapon; everything else is just a tool. As a peacekeeper, your job is not to kill, it is to serve and protect. To do that, you may have to kill.

First you want to deter and then stop the threat. The most effective way to stop someone is to destroy his or her central nervous system. Your job is to stop the deadly threat and the most effective way to do that is to make the threat die. Whether you are a warrior hunting terrorists in a distant land or a peacekeeper in some crap-hole, there are rules of engagement in which deadly force can be used. When you do it right, as you have been trained, the threat may die, a possibility you must accept as a warrior.

You Must Accept the Fact That You Might Have to Kill.

If you carry a gun for your job, you do not want to be thinking “Oh God! I might have to kill someone!” The correct response is this: “I think I’m going to have to kill this person. I knew it might come to this some day.” By completely accepting the possibility, you maintain control of yourself and are better able to deter your opponent. Deterrence is something that warriors do over and over in the mean streets of the world. Warriors daunt and deter. Their very presence can save lives and stop killing.

Now, if you chose to take a life when you should not, or if you fail to take a human life when you should have, a world of hurt will come down on you. The time to decide whether you can kill another human being is not in the middle of combat. The time to decide, to the utmost of your ability, is right now. Understand that no one can ever be 100 percent certain. We all exist in a state of uncertainty, even those who have been there before do not know for sure whether they can do a good job the next time. But to the utmost of your ability, you must resolve now, in your heart and mind, that you can kill.

So, who decides the amount of force the warrior has to use? Who ultimately makes the decision that deadly force is needed? The enemy does. The threat does. He fights, you fight. When he uses deadly force, you use deadly force. He makes that decision for you. That is the great paradox of combat: If you are truly prepared to kill someone, you are less likely to have to do it.
The Skill to Kill.

Champions aren’t made in the gym. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them–a desire, a dream, and a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, and they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill (Muhammed Ali).

There are three Things you need to survive in armed combat. The proper weapon, the skill, and will to kill.

Without quality training, your weapon will not do you any good. Actually you are likely to be a significant risk to the people you are supposed to protect. It is one thing pressing a trigger when you are several feet away from a threat, but it is much more personal to beat the life out of someone with your feet and hands. What if a bad guy disarmed you and you have to fight him hand-to-hands?
In the popular book Far Beyond Defensive Tactics (Christensen, L.W.), the author writes this about making the decision to kill:

You have to look into yourself to decide what you must do to bring out that politically incorrect term killer instinct. When defending your life, you cannot fight with limitations, you cannot hold back for reasons of etiquette, a sense of humanity, personal religious reasons, or fear of legal actions. If you are absolutely convinced that you are fighting for your life, you owe it yourself, and your fellow warriors to use whatever personal psychological ploy to help get the job done. If that means you have to view the suspect as a rabid, junkyard dog, so be it. When the badguy attacks you with viciousness, you must fight back with greater viciousness. Why would you do anything less? Do not doubt that the killer instinct is there… It is a cold entity, but it is also energy producing. It will make you stronger, faster, and resistant to pain. And it will help you get home at the end of your tour!

Making the Decision to Kill.

“I killed someone. But someone lived.”

Someone who was not going to live one second longer is instead alive because I did KILL. Every single man on my team has kids, too. It was my responsibility to make sure when sugar turns to shit they all went home, and they did. They went home to their families, and no matter what else happens, I can’t help but be proud of that fact (Russ Clagett).

Think about that………





About The Author

David K. Devaney SgtMaj USMC Retired 2009 City of Hit Iraq with PTTDavid was born in Geneva New York and graduated from Geneva High School in 1980. He joined the Marine Corps on a guaranteed Infantry contract in April of 1983. After graduating boot camp he was stationed in Hawaii with 3rdBattalion 3rd Marines (3/3). While assigned to 3/3 he held billets as a rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. During 1986 Corporal (Cpl) Devaney was selected as a member of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine. Upon graduation of Scout Sniper School he was assigned to the Scout Sniper Section of 3/3 STA Platoon. During his second deployment as a Scout Sniper with 3/3 he was promoted to Sergeant (Sgt). After a tour on the drill field from 1989-1991 Sgt Devaney returned to STA 3/3 were he deployed two more times. During 1994 Sgt Devaney was selected to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) and ordered to III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), Special Operation Training Group (SOTG); while at SOTG SSgt Devaney was assigned as a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) and Urban Sniper Instructor and Chief Instructor. At the time III MEF SOTG Instructors were members of Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510 CT); a Counter Terrorism Task Force. In 1998 he deployed to Operation Desert Fox with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 and was attached to Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 572/594 as a sniper. SSgt Devaney deployed again, during 2000, with ODA 135/136/132 to Malaysia as member of JTF 510, working with the Malaysian National Police. After leaving SOTG Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Devaney was assigned to Company A 1st Battalion 7th Marine, and spent much of his time training the Scout Snipers of 1/7. Just before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, he was selected to the rank of First Sergeant (1stSgt) and led 270 Marines, sailors, and soldiers during combat – receiving a Bronze Star Medal for destroying the enemy and their will to fight. During 2004 1st Sgt Devaney was ordered to duty as the Inspector Instructor Staff 1st Sgt for 2nd Beach and Terminal Operations Company, Savannah, Georgia. During 2007 he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) and received orders to Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) stationed at Cherry Point, NC. There he trained a CADRE which in turn trained a massive Quick Reaction Force in combat operations. After two more deployments to Iraq SgtMaj Devaney received orders to Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, VA. SgtMaj Devaney retired from the Marine Corps on 31 December 20013. He now works as an adjunct combat instructor at the “Crucible’’ in Fredericksburg, VA. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Association. David’s published work: Books Devaney, D.K. (2007). Surviving combat: Mentally and physically (3rd edition). 29 Palms, CA: USMC. Devaney, D.K. (2015). They Were Heroes: A Sergeant Major’s Tribute to Combat Marines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Articles Devaney, D.K. (2011) Enough Talk of Suicide, Already! Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2011) Can PTSD Be Prevented Through Education? Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2012) PTSD Is Not Cancer. The Marine Corps Gazette. Devaney, D.K. (2012) Women in Combat Arms Units. The Marine Corps Gazette.

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