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Risk 102- Lose “A” Match but Win “THE” Game March 23, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Risk & Risk Management, weapons and tactics.
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Risk management is about decisions.  Given certain information, people then make decisions that they hope will minimize the risk of a particular outcome.  This post is about risk and decisions.

Years ago I was a young Marine attending the USMC’s Amphibious Reconnaissance School (ARS).  Upon successfully passing the school I would be conferred with the coveted Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of 0321- Reconnaissance Marine.  Recon Marines operate in very small teams conducting various reconnaissance missions to provide intelligence to the commander. The last phase of ARS training is known as “patrolling phase”.  This is where all the students put their skills to use and run back to back patrols for a week while begin graded by the instructors.

During one of the final patrols we came upon a road known in military speak as a “linear danger area” and were considering a “two man bump” and other techniques to safely cross the danger area.  After having not slept for the better part of a week my mind was a bit foggy.  I asked the instructor: “SSGT, if we apply these techniques can we be confident that we will cross safely?”  He looked at me and said: “Mark, you can do everything by the book and exactly right and still get your entire team killed.  All you can do is make tactically sound decisions and hope for some luck.”  Certainly without meaning to do so, this Marine Staff Sergeant articulated the idea of risk and risk management as well as any academic. (more…)

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