LESSONS FROM HISTORY

Marines Adapt, Overcome! Culture Phrase Motto

Guest Article by Bogan

The Marine Corps phrase ” Improvise, Adapt, Overcome ” can readily be applied to preparedness. When things don’t go as planned you can either shut down, or….

Improvise

Improvise: It has been said by many commentators on military strategy ranging from Sun Tzu to Colin Powell, that the best laid plans last only until initial contact with the enemy.

(Or “…the first shot is fired”, the quotes vary, but the idea is the same.)

By analogy to the contingencies you may be planning for, things can quickly go bad fast: EMP, pandemic, weather, exploding caldera, political situations. Even bad luck can quickly destroy your carefully thought out strategy.

Have a plan (or a series of contingency plans) but leave room for flexibility.

Shift your plans to take advantage of situations as they arise!

• Items can be repurposed or put to dual use. Many of us already do this without giving it a second thought.

Adapt

Adapt: Lots of MSB postings underscore the lesson that things are going to be different from what you plan for. Expect this! Be creative, you might just find a new way of doing old things and see things with a new eye.

• For example a couple years ago I had shoulder surgery, which wiped out an ability to hold a hunting rifle with both hands. Solution: hunt with a handgun, weak side no less. It was amazing how my weak side was able to improve itself in practice sessions prior to the season.

Overcome

Overcome: Murphy’s law states anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Be prepared by knowing what other options are available.

Hit an obstacle. Go through it, around it or over it. Come up with creative solutions.

Stuff is great, but the most important thing is your brain, use it!

• Encounter a life obstacle? There are many ways to skin a cat!

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

It is an approach to readiness, and how to act in the face of adversity.

It is a state of mind!

HOW DO YOU APPLY “ IMPROVISE, ADAPT, OVERCOME ” TO YOUR APPROACH TO PREPAREDNESS?

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100 Comments

  1. According to my husband, things don’t go South, they go north! (he is from the hills of VA. And after reading this to him I asked if he had a comment and he said, I forgot to check the mousetraps yesterday! But he totally agrees, he always says military plans go out the window as combat starts.

    1. Haha! It’s interesting how these phrases are captured and used over time. Like things “going south”. They just get used while the original intent not being the purpose during our modern era.

      I’ve switched it from “going south” to “going bad” out of respect for our southern readers, of which we have lots! ;)

      1. Ken
        You walked that back nicely :) Another phrase being used more often these days. haha

      2. thanks we had a good laugh. And in case of trouble, it is like dinner, we will make it up as it comes along.

      3. Hey Ken

        Thanks for the consideration ………..but as a southerner I don’t think any of us with good sense would ever consider that disparagin in any way. Hayell Fyre I heard my granny sayin that since I was big enough to hear. The people that are bothered by such trivia are exactly the kind of people I endeavor to avoid. Thanks for your blog.

        1. – Actually, the left is mostly the ‘Left Coast’. The Swamp is to the right on my map. Of course, if you go south enough, you have a choice of the Gulf or Mexico.
          Personally, I have no problem with “Going south”. Heard it all of my life, and it’s pretty well understood. There is, of course, “When the Balloon goes up” which we now understand to indicate the beginning of hostilities, and originally referred to the observation balloons used during the War of Northern Aggression.
          – Papa S.

      4. I’m from the South and I’ve always heard about things “going sideways”.
        Quoting my Grampa – World War 1 veteran. Loved that human being with all my heart.
        Beach’n

      5. Living where crime is an issue, I live by the USMC motto aa taught by my mentor & father. I am prepare @ all times. Kniw my surroundings & be prepared to do harm to dearh to any who seek to harm me. Dad told me, ” kill the enemy when that enemy is down, Id he geta up you will be dead.” Words 2 live by & know defense & ways to kill with a pointed pen or whatever is handy

  2. Bogan – I agree 1000% – It is a state of mind!

    Think about the people you know – friends, family, co-workers, How many of them throw their hands up in the air at the first sign of a problem, resistance, or difficulty.

    How many times have we each been told something can’t be done even as we or someone else shows them another way, or a work-around?

    And it’s always the same people who have to be shown time and again that there’s more than one way to do many things, that quitting is just the easy way out.

    In a true SHTF you gotta figure more is NOT going to work than is going to work (and I’m not just talking about equipment or electronics).

    Since none of us knows what the next SHTF will be, or what turmoil it will bring down on us, mental toughness combined with flexibility/creativeness will be a huge deal.

    If a SHTF does hit, I want to be one of the minority of people who is able to recognize what is going on and figure out how to cope with it while other people are still in denial that a SHTF is going on around them.

    1. Exactly So Cal Gal. To many people focus on the problem when they need to focus on the solution. Why or how something happened doesn’t matter but how to fix it does.

  3. Man!! What a timely article. One of my freezers went out last week so I get to exercise my plans to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.

    We discovered it before everything had thawed out and were able to salvage most of it (smaller wrapped packs of meat) in a couple other freezers. We could not find the space for the larger cuts which came to almost 70 pounds of meat altogether. Multiple boston butts, a very large boneless rib roast, a couple large briskets along with 10 pounds of pork fat which were still frozen and some sausage and country style ribs which had already thawed. We’ll cook and eat the stuff that thawed over the next several days but will have to thaw out and cut up and can all the big stuff since the part to repair the freezer won’t be here until Thursday.

    DW rendered the fat last night and got several quarts of really nice lard. She is talking about making a big pot of pulled pork along with another big pot of green chili and canning it. We’ll turn the rib roast into a double batch (14 quarts) of beef stew. We’ll probably roast the briskets long and slow and make a bunch of Texas style pulled brisket for canning. We are not sure how many quarts we’ll get from that but probably more than 14.

    Looks like we’ll be doing a lot of unscheduled, unplanned cooking and canning over the next several days. I’m sure glad the weather is cool. It will be an “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome” week around here for sure.

    We’re not glad this happened but at least we’ll get to exercise our original plans of canning meat when the power fails. In this case, the power didn’t fail but the freezer did… the end result is the same. Just saying.

    1. It is amazing how quickly one’s priorities can change! You’re going along just fine and then WHAM… something happens. Shifting priorities indeed…

  4. Bogan
    Great article! Sums up the best piece of advice I ever got about life, ” learn to persevere”.

  5. I hate to be the one that says it, but what this country really needs is a good slap upside the head, or wallet, or war, or EMP, or whatever. When someone gets $130k+ for not getting a cake baked that’s just all out wrong. Is that what our Country is all about?

    Someone just mentioned the unity after 911, We-the-People had a brief moment of “Oh Shit”. And were actually thinking on what/if; did not take long for some groups to use the catastrophe to further their agenda did it? How many times do we now hear of all the Catastrophes this past year, Fires, Hurricanes, Floods, earthquakes? How many $BILLIONS were passed out and not a single thanks to those that pay the bill? Yet the .gov keeps on taxing more and more, is that the right way to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome?

    Bogan has written a good article, the ability to adapt to what’s at hand. It seems we all talk of Skills, Stuff, Location, and the Gulch like they are the cure all to an EMP, economy, or whatever disaster that may strike. I wonder how many can leave their lush homes and Starbucks Coffee to live in a mud cave eating bugs to survive? Or how many would.

    We also talk of the Sheeple like they will be the only ones toast when TSHTF. Sorry, I don’t believe it. What’s going to get 99% of the losses? “Bad Luck”, being in the wrong place at the wrong time; Improvising, Adapting, and Overcome are all 1000% true, as long as you’re not the first to get zapped by “the first shot fired”.

    I agree, having a ‘Plan’ is a MUST, even a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Bogen mentioned good old Murphy’s Law, how friggen true is that. How many contingencies can one build into a Plan to avoided Murphy? 10-15-20 times? How much can one really Adapt and Overcome till there is no option left? Hopefully there is not and “End”.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I know there are a LOT of you out there that have it “all planed out” with the perfect situation and fantasy, I hope your right. I know I don’t have 1/100 of this understood, and guess what, ‘Ohhh well’ If TSHTF, I’ll and most of you will do the best we can, and just be amazed at the mess this Country and World are/will-be in, and who is going to fix it? Who will be standing at the end of the day? Who’s going to be the top Rambo/Mad-Max/John-Galt that’s the hero? I have NO idea, I just really hope I never see the day that we all have to make the decision of who and what family gets turned away from living so others can.

    But my friends, it’s coming, and that’s worrisome that so many don’t see it.

    1. NRP
      Heros are only in comic books or past history.
      That solid slap to the head is the only way the chaff is separated from the wheat, indeed, when someone gets to have their cake and a payoff too its time for that slap

      1. The True Hero is the one that does what is needed with out reservation.

        I have had the pleasure (sometimes heartache) of knowing many heroes in my life. Some heroes have to die and some have to work hard long hours feeding and sheltering their families.

        I hope when they speak of me at my funereal they think of me as a hero no matter how small.

      2. – I saw a sign the other day – “Comic book Heroes wear capes; real ones wear dog tags”
        – Papa S.

        1. Smile I will ask my firefighter and power line friends if they wear dog tags. When a Nor’easter is ripping down your power lines in the freezing cold or the bold go into a flaming house to rescue someone not even their family. There go heroes.

          1. Yep, last storm the linemen were out in blasting winds, pouring rain to try and minimize damage to their hardware,,, dont know if thats hero or not but i take my hat off to them, for sure

    2. NRP
      Oh and forgot to add,
      At this point, i dont really care if im at ground zero anymore, this world is so screwed up i have no interest in saving any of it

    3. NRP
      At least the judge dismissed the case against the Bundys. The bureaucrats don’t get that slice of cake – poor snowflakes. haha

      1. hermit us
        True, but for some reason I don’t think the Feds are done with the Bundys, the .gov will be harassing them for a very long time I believe.

        1. NRP
          The .gov or the retired senator who’s plans went down the flusher when they would not move over or give in his demands….???

          1. There is a radio personality here in Oregon/Washington named Lars Larson and he thinks that the Bundys are the bad guys—even after all the stuff has finally come out about how they were correct about what the feds were doing – he has nothing but bad to say about them. I don’t get it.

          2. Government prosecutorial MIsconduct..that says it all and was Judges statement.

          3. Just Sayin’

            Yes, he acknowledges that but still feels that they are low life thugs and got away with ‘stuff’ for years and deserved whatever they got. He is on a conservative station so his stance surprises me a little.

        2. NRP
          Ya, don’t get between all the land the government thinks they own and the citizens of this country. Some protection of particular parcels may be justified so looters do not rape the land, but the amount the government has is outrageous.

      2. If harry reid and the leftist from Lv Nv have anything to say about it its not over,,,

    4. NRP,
      Your post covers a lot of ground.
      As far as people pulling together after a 911 type crisis, yes I agree it happens for a while, a lot of people pull together, they put aside differences for a time, but it never sticks, its temporary.

      As far as the takers, the people who always take and seldom if ever give, they don’t say thank you. When was the last time a politician said thank you for their salary? I’ve never met a DMV clerk who acted as though they work for the customer they help all day long. I’ve never met anyone in one of the many .gov tax offices I’ve had to deal with over the years who acknowledges that the very people they treat with contempt or indifference (by phone, e-mail or at a window in their offices) are the ones who pay them, that make their living and future pensions possible. It’s just expected that we keep paying, it’s taken for granted.

      I realize that things may go very, very wrong one day… possibly one day very soon. Do I want to live in a mud hut and eat bugs? Hell, no. But, as someone much smarter than me posted here a while ago, you aren’t prepping for those things you can’t survive, you are prepping in case you can/do survive. I don’t even know how to prep for mud huts and bugs and nothing else.

      Personally, I don’t have any fantasies about some guy riding in on a white horse leading any of us to a nirvana neighborhood or salvation. I may be in the wrong place at the wrong time no matter where I live. I might die before my current plans come to fruition, or I might die in Nevada, or in the middle of the redoubt, or who the heck knows, even at the 4 corners. Anything is possible. I also see that things are getting worse, not better, so the physical and mental preps continue. And yes, most people do not see it – because they choose not to. It’s easier.

      1. SCG
        I believe NRP knows quite a lot about preparing bugs. He learned during his visits to Thailand. But until he posts on this topic, may I recommend a lot of ketchup. :)

        1. hermit us
          Fish-Sauce and Chocolate works best for the little crunchy critters. :-)
          And yes I have had Crickets covered in Chocolate, not bad actually, just hard to pick up with Chop Sticks when their moving around so much hehehehe

          1. – I have had grasshoppers in Texas, Oklahoma, and I think it was Kentucky. Toasting works pretty well, but take the back legs off – they scratch!
            – Papa S

      2. So Cal Gal

        But don’t you realize we DO work for the .gov, and they allow us to keep a little of what we actually produce.

        “And yes, most people do not see it – because they choose not to. It’s easier.”
        OR they see and know, but refuse to life a finger to change their Give-Me status.

        1. NRP
          Ahhh don’y be so hard on the 100 million that get benefits from the government – okay some is owed to us because we contributed all our working lives, but the second and third generation of welfare recipients can go to hell. If a person is able-bodied, work or work for welfare – do discussion.

      3. @SoCalGal
        I have witnessed first-hand so many who are ‘dependent’ on the govt, I’ve watched their behavior change when their expected ‘free’ benefits are threatened — they go on the offensive and YOU become the target. When there were several hurricanes in Louisiana, I was shifted from my regular job to working w/ disaster victims. I have never in my life seen so many disgusting, sub-human beings as during that time. These animals were living in rentals and were on all sorts of govt assistance, but they knew that they could get more free money by filing claims of damage through FEMA. Consequently, they all went on the ugly offense and DEMANDED their due — they wanted every penny of free FEMA-money they were entitled to. (The govt has trained them to behave this way!) And if they felt jilted or passed-over, they would cuss you out or threaten you because you somehow stood in the way of them getting more free-stuff.

        The low-life in New Orleans epitomizes the mindset of an enraged on-the-edge person that each of us would encounter if/when the SHTF. Everyone really needs to prepare for this and be at-the-ready because this type of person will hurt or kill to get what they want.

        1. Hi MT,
          Yes, how many millions just expect to be taken care of? So many people who think that what they receive is their right – they are entitled to that and will flip out when it stops. Ken has written about this before – what happens when the EBT cards stop working (for example)? It will be ugly.

        2. yep- Puerco (oh excuse me) Puerto Ricans get FAR more fed funding then they pay into the pot, and they don’t pay personal income taxes either. Still the howls of “We’re Americans too, come fix our s–t!!!”
          Very irritating.

      4. SCG,,, hey a mud hut can be home sweet home ,,,ask a real old time cowboy ,called em soddys warm in the winter ,,,cool in the summer,, or so I’m told ,a little water on the floor keeps the dust down.

        1. – oldhomesteader- my Grandad was born in a soddy near Pawnee, Oklahoma, in 1900. Great-grandparents were real Sooners, and that was their home. He took me there once, and it was still mostly standing. Still remember a story about when Grandad was a small boy, they got home on the buckboard and great-granddad had to move a tumbleweed that was bigger than the buckboard out of the cut going to the front door.
          – Papa S.

  6. well i guess i have used that mind set for decades

    just the other day the tap on a zipper broke off

    a friend of my wifes said well time to throw that out

    i just said nope

    i went over and took a twist tie off a loaf of bread threaded that through the zipper

  7. I just re-watched the movie, The Martian, over the weekend. Putting aside the personal politics of some of the actors, the movie itself is excellent and is a great example of this mindset in practice. I love the part when (SPOILER ALERT) the space ship commander orders the course correction even though it will cause a speed problem later on. Her response, “We’ll have 39 minutes to figure that (problem) out”. Also at the end of the movie, Watney describes surviving by solving a problem, and then if you solve that, you get to figure out the next one.

    The entire movie is filled with situations where things go wrong and the people involved respond by digging in to solve what is in front of them right then and worrying about the next problem later. They didn’t procrastinate, but stayed focused and prioritized and never gave up.

  8. Guess I am blessed my parents said if you do not try, how will you know if you can or can not complete the task you set forth for yourself. Not succeeding was just another way of learning how to find a correct path in which I would reach my end goal. It is probably why I am so inquisitive to learn, no matter how young I age. 😉

  9. Germain to the ‘improvise/adapt’ portions of the equation would be back ups and redundancy. The prepper saying ‘two is one, one is none’ goes to Murphy’s Law perfectly.

    When your chainsaw breaks down, or you’re out of gas/two stroke oil, do you have a bow saw? Do you have extra blades for it? Is your generator modified for tri-fuel to run your freezers and well pump? Do you have another smaller one that’s also modified just for the pump? If they both break down do you have a way to manually draw potable water?

    It would seem having manual backups to our energy driven equipment would solve a whole lot of “oh Schumer” moments.

    As an aside comment, a neighbor walked over a few months ago, about a half mile, and asked if I had any jumper cables. I didn’t say anything but ‘yes’, although I started to say “what kind of dummy would live this far out in the country and not have jumper cables”, because the answer was obvious, him.

  10. isn’t this like fixing anything with bailing string, or wire and duct tape!

    IN GOD WE TRUST

    1. The front bumper of my car is wired on. I found it was just on there with flimsy plastic clips, and at the first little nudge it fell off.

      1. Lauren
        Did the government not mandate that a bumper must endure a 5 mph collision – you must have been speeding haha

        1. I was backing out of the driveway and accidentally scraped the side wall (my sister had parked the car within inches of the curving wall). The thing snapped right off.

  11. – Definitely agree on the Martian movie. The entire movie is based on ‘improvise, adapt and overcome’, whatever the obstacle. Personally, I have a long history of doing just that, as a child, as a Boy Scout, in school, and in both the Army and in various jobs since. One of my memories of the Army long ago is when my battalion commander’s radio went out and he was told that the radio repairman wouldn’t be able to get to him until the next day due to the weather. He told his driver, a private, to “Go find Sgt. McGyver (Sorry, but it’s what was said!) and see if he can get me back on the air!” (It may be bad for my OPSEC, but the kid knew who to find, and we did get the radio working)
    – Papa S.

  12. Adapt and overcome! Yes sir! Except not always…

    The snow-bomb storm that just went up the eastern coast had an effect on my aunt and uncle. They’re in their mid 80s and live in a gated community in Hilton Head, SC. They are ‘privileged.’ lol I learned through an email from my mother that they had a rough time with this storm. I was surprised to hear that because the weather map I saw didn’t show any snowfall that far south in SC.

    Apparently Hilton Head came to a ‘stand still’ because of snow. Mail couldn’t be delivered. Their club house closed and both golf courses closed. And since there is no sand, gravel, or spreader trucks, they were ‘stuck’ with snow that didn’t melt. Pretty much their community shut-down.

    So I asked my mother how much snow they got….

    Turns out they got about an inch of snow.

    Now I don’t know about you guys, but an inch of snow ANYWHERE at ANYTIME is not fatalistic. But clearly, this gated community couldn’t function. And neither could my aging relatives.

    (Yeah, they’re liberals….) lol lol lol

    1. Or as my sister put it (she got a quarter inch when she was in Virginia and the whole town shut down), “That wasn’t snow! That was a heavy frost!”

    2. Hi MT,
      Thanks for the funny anecdote about your folks. So many people are just so set in their ways – I guess having the club and courses closed would be a big deal if you’re used to always having them available. And that inch of snow would be a really big deal if it hit downtown LA or San Diego. I could see an inch creating total havic. Heck, people here can’t drive when it’s 70 out and we get an inch of rain – it’s always the lead story on the news!

    3. I used to love snow, lived outside of Boulder, remember dragging my goose neck flatbed down to the lumber yard early one morning, snowing, cold, had to go up Boulder canyon with the load, so i “adapted” the chains on my 350 locked the hubs snd drug that trailer up the canyon, every 1/2 mile there was either some yuppy sliding down the road sideways in their BMW or SAAB or stuck in the snow, i just “overcame” the urge to help them as they were trying to wave me down to stop and help them…. got that load to the site and framed half the ground floor walls on that house before dark, we adapted our Carharts and nail bags and overcame the urge to go get a cup o coffee, good day!

      1. Love that story! I traveled that road many times & thanks for the details of this story. I got a good laugh while I was reading your post.

    4. An inch of snow (ok, maybe an inch and a half) will seriously cripple the Seattle metro area. I grew up driving in snow (Mt. Hood, Oregon) in a rear wheel drive car, yet I tend to just park at home when it snows here as I am surrounded and outnumbered by others who seem to have no idea how to drive in snow (and most/all have SUVs). Part of adapt and overcome is knowing when to hunker down and let things flow by.

    5. Remember, the South does not invest in ice/sand trucks, snow movers, blowers, etc. This was an unusual storm for most of us. Sure we get snow occasionally but we do not get single digit temps at night and barely above freezing during the day for a week. So, the snow melts a tiny bit during the day freezes at night and we end up with inches of ice. We got 4-6 inches of snow. That turned into a big ice rink. Didn’t have to go anywhere, didn’t need to!

      Many places, especially private communities, shut down to avoid injury, and lawsuits. The medical practice, where I work, had to shut down due to frozen water pipes. This was not just a snow storm, it was the single digit temps at night that did us in. We still have slushy ice in the parking lot at work. Note: building code for this area requires above ground backflow preventers. They were frozen and burst all over the city. Luckily we have a patient who is a plumber and they helped us out quickly.

      P.S. I used hand-warmers (from my vehicle) taped to the water line to thaw out the frozen pipe.
      I should’ve gotten a raise for that one :D Except that when the pipe thawed we found out we also had a burst backflow preventer. Sometimes, you just can’t win. :/

      If there is a next time, we will hang a worklight underneath the cover to hopefully prevent this from happening again. None of us thought about this being an issue beforehand

      Beach’n

  13. Be carefull what you wish for. I don’t want a re-set. I expect at some time in the future I’ll need a coronary artery stent or bypass surgery. I expect that statistically that will give me a number more of years to enjoy whatever it is I still enjoy. An EMP will negate that and I will depart sooner than I want. I would like to see some mandatory re-education for the gimmes. Lord knows they need it!

    1. me
      Re-education? Did you not read the article on the high school that passed all the students even though many did not attend half the time. Adapt and overcome, heck many can not read or write after they graduate. I think some motivation is needed for sure and personal responsibility – but we keep paying for them to hang out on street corners.

  14. Improvise, adapt and overcome is common in dependent people (a nice way of putting it). A person told me she was going to McDonald’s for lunch because she needed toilet paper (which she stole and felt justified in doing because she was poor). When she opened her purse to pay for her lunch it was filled with packages of salt, pepper, sugar, ketchup, milk and napkins. She still manage to pack in the tp.

    1. Skeezix
      I read that many public washrooms in China have a big problem because of TP theft. I never really thought of people in this country stooping to those lows – but I guess adapt and overcome does apply. World going to sh*t.

      1. In many countries you have to carry your own–it’s either not available in restrooms, or you have to pay for it. A dispenser like a vending machine. In Germany they told us to carry TP with us or have cash. A lot of people used the street because many of the restrooms you had to pay to get in. It wasn’t at all unusual to see a wad of TP and “accessories” behind a bush or a wall. I saw people change diapers on the hoods of cars or on the sidewalk and people acted like this was normal.

  15. Adapt and overcome is all fine and dandy, but what about when you adapt, adapt, adapt and keep trying and hit a wall every time? Just sayin, it happens

  16. Good article Bogan. Those are words I live by and have used many times.

    I always liked the quote from Mike Tyson.
    “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth”.

    A plan is just that. A plan, is a perfect scenario where everything works exactly as you would expect it to. When that happens you have a better chance of winning the lotto. If you can’t maneuver when that plan goes bad your done. We all experience a plan gone awry pretty much everday. How you react to said disturbance in your plan effects how the rest of your day will play out.

    Adapt and Overcome.

    1. Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
      Anybody on a farm with critters sure can relate to that!!
      Homeowner, vehicle owner…etc.
      Every day life. No matter how big or how small the problem.
      There are always roadblocks or walls that get in the way. Life is how well a person can react to such problems.

  17. Thanks for the article Bogan.

    The Marines are not the only ones that live by that motto and having worked with people from various branches of the armed services, Many of these people are essentially cut from the same cloth when they are 5+ years removed from the service. They all have learned to improvise, adapt and overcome. The Marines were simply the loudest. ( with exception to the few Scout-Sniper graduates I met. Those folks were quiet and low key until you outscored them on the range.) The Marines think they have a monopoly on long distance rifle shooting.
    As a whole, I have liked most of the Marines I have met over the years along with the Army, Air Force and Navy vets They have one thing in common: I do not hear a lot of whining when in a room full of vets.
    Lastly, heroes are the ones that go to work when others are running away or freaking out ( standing catatonic is preferred. Please scream and shout somewhere else.) I remember suiting up in kevlar vest and grabbing my helmet and driving slowly toward the section of the city that was burning. (Rodney King Riots in 1992) We were nervous, some were scared but we went and did our job then I found it funny to be called heroes after the fact. Though we were nervous and scared, none of our brains shut off. The working brain allows one to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.

  18. Nailbanger, perhaps someone who’s been through it successfully can offer some possibilities. Chances are probably good to find another whose been down that road. Perhaps web search ” How to overcome this, or deal with that” just a thought. I like all of the suggestions that were put forth when someone’s toddler would not eat right. Lots of folks been there, done that! That’s something that’ll help you learn how to improvise, adapt , and overcome! 😉

  19. To: CR

    My point exactly, my definition of “hero” these days is expanding in scope to include single moms that go to work most days, Family caregivers staying at home and bypassing promotions and business opportunities in order to care for a family member that is special needs or memory loss/cancer,

    That was why I mentioned that others out there are learning to improvise, adapt and overcome even though they have never been yelled at by a drill instructor, been near the ocean or shot a rifle.

  20. I’m constantly running scenarios of ‘what ifs’ thru my head. Even on the drive home from work today.
    Does that mean I’m preparing myself to improvise, adapt & overcome? Or am I just bat-crap crazy???🤔😱

    1. Joe c, Nope, you’re not crazy. Running scenarios through your mind is wise, especially if you settle on an action/reaction to take should that imaginary event take place for real. Repeat that action in your mind until it becomes a part of your psyche. Remember this, doing something when attacked, even if not a perfect response, is head and shoulders better than freezing and doing nothing. That imperfect response just might be what buys you time to improvise, adapt, and overcome.

      1. Dennis
        I was more less being sarcastic.
        Thanks and whole-heartedly agree.
        If we are the sane-ones, I greatly fear for those who are not.
        You know, …..the one’s you can look them in the eye and say, ‘mornin’ or ‘how u doin?’
        And they walk by you and stare at ya without a flinch and you wonder,. “Hey! Anyone home in there?”

          1. NRP and Joe c,
            Having dealt with truly crazy people on a fairly regular basis for years as part of my profession, there’s one thing I can say with confidence. If you admit you think you might be crazy, rest assured, you’re not.

  21. Cali, yes sir, a lot folks doing the right thing, oftentimes the hard thing, because it’s their duty. Great speech by the way, by a great General, ” Duty, Honor, Country ” . Wish we had a school system that made speeches like that required reading! If we’re going to have a great country, then we need to make the schools great again. How did we ever let anyone take away from us, those character building essentials and values that made great citizens, homes, schools, and businesses, that in turn, made America the envy of the free world. How could we ever let anyone take away from us those principles that caused us to be that Shining City on a Hill. That hope of mankind, to which the oppressed of the world fled for refuge. Improvise, adapt, and overcome. Not a bad way to make America great again!

  22. One way to develop these skills is to take up farming & stick with it for a while especially if money is short. An example… When we moved to the farm DH came an asked me what size nails he would need to hold up a certain weight. Forgot the exact details now but he thought since I had some university, I would know how to figure it out. I told him I didn’t take physics so didn’t have a clue. DH with a grade 8 education but with lots of experiences sat down & using his knowledge of welding figured it out & that floor never collapsed with many year of heavy loads. We couldn’t afford an engineer to tell us so we made due. While I sure didn’t start with this article’s skills, I have been forced to learn them to a certain extent over the years. My fear is, it takes a while to learn them & in a real SHTF situation some people may not have time if they haven’t started down that path already.

  23. Old Marine here (very old Marine!) and also a retired big city cop… it doesn’t matter what words you use or how you phrase it the bottom line is you never (ever) give up no matter what the task/obstacle in front of you is, you can be on your deathbed but you still do your best to fight to the very end no matter what the odds are. I’ve made it to 75 with most of my parts intact, and thankfully I still have attitude, but none of us knows what’s around the corner or what tomorrow will bring. My wish is that my kids and grandkids will absorb the lessons that I have tried to leave behind re standing up for what you believe in, as well as being fair and honest and civil. That’s about it, hand salute and Semper fi!

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