On November 11, 1919, America recognized Armistice Day on the first anniversary of the ending of World War I. Armistice Day eventually became Veterans Day and an annual national holiday in 1938.
While Memorial Day honors those men and women who have lost their lives serving our country, Veterans Day honors all those who have served – living or dead.
Let’s honor the brave men and women who have served our great nation with a look at some of the survival skills they must master to defend the United States. We’d be wise to learn these skills ourselves.
Members of the US military learn the importance of teamwork as soon as they enter basic training, as much of the training is designed to teach the principles of teamwork.
While self-reliance includes the word “self,” during times of crisis, you will need to work with others. Every veteran knows this is true.
Land navigation is considered a basic soldiering skill. During the White Phase of Army Basic Training, time is spent teaching soldiers how to read maps and use a compass.
This basic soldiering skill is an essential survival skill for the rest of us. Too many people rely on their GPS systems today, and, if these systems fail, they will need to know how to navigate.
#3 Adapting to the Environment
During training courses, soldiers are taught to navigate a variety of obstacles. This includes learning how to adapt to different environments.
Pfc. Abagayle MacLeod, a trainee with Company A., explains for the US Army, “I am learning how to adapt to the environment, what I need to look for and how to pay attention to details.”
Practicing situational awareness is an important survival skill for civilians, as well.
#4 Signaling for Help
Knowing how to communicate undetected is an essential survival skill our military relies on. For instance, Morse code was regularly used by the US Navy and US Coast Guard for years to communicate with other ships and signal for distress.
In addition, military hand and arm signals (also known as visual signals) are still taught and used for communication. These visual signals prove lifesaving in war zones or other times when soldiers need to communicate undetected.
According to Human Performance Resources by CHAMP Uniformed Services University, “The visual signals that Military Service Members use to communicate are actually quite unique. Though there are dozens of different signals, they certainly don’t comprise a complete language. But they’re still complex and used deliberately, and they can communicate important pieces of information or instruction.”
While important on the battlefield, using undetected forms of communication, such as Morse code, also proves helpful in survival situations and when facing censorship.
#5 Blending In
While it is easy to recognize military fatigues out in the open, it is much harder on the battlefield. The camouflage pattern we are all so familiar with is designed specifically to avoid being seen by the enemy.
According to Black Rifle Coffee Company, “For night missions, the military even developed a ‘desert night uniform,’ or Parka Night Camouflage Desert as it was officially called, to be thrown over another uniform. Its goal was to reduce visibility by Soviet infrared cameras and night vision goggles.”
There are also times when civilians need to blend in and not draw attention to themselves. Learning how to camouflage or become a gray man is a key survival skill.
[Related Read: Why Becoming a Gray Man May Save Your Life]
#6 Defensive Skills
US military members spend a significant amount of time learning defensive skills, including training in rifle marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat. These brave men and women learn these skills to defend their country against attack.
In the same way, we should learn self-defense and take weapon training courses. While hoping to never have to use these skills, you’ll be glad you know how to defend yourself, your family, and your home if the need arises.
#7 Starting a Fire
US Marines taking survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) training are taught how to start fires because this is an essential survival skill. Building a fire can help soldiers stay warm, cook food, and send SOS signals. It may sound fairly basic, but having this survival skill will save your life.
#8 Basic First Aid
According to the US Army, “First aid class, one of 12 graduation requirements for basic combat training, is completed by trainees during Red Phase. During this three-day course, trainees are taught basic knowledge of hemorrhage control, tourniquet use, wound care, self-aid, buddy aid and casualty evaluation. Because medical personnel will not always be readily available, Soldiers will have to rely heavily on their own skills and knowledge of life-sustaining methods to survive on the integrated battlefield.”
We never know when an emergency will happen that will require first aid. Knowing the basics will help you care for the injured person (or yourself) until you can obtain professional medical care.
#9 Tying Knots
Unfortunately, most civilians are not taught how to tie knots. But midshipmen learn how to tie many different kinds of knots in the sailing courses taught at the US Naval Academy. This is a critical skill that can prove useful in many situations, including building shelter and rescuing others.
#10 Military Readiness
In President Taft’s inaugural address, he said, “We should have an army so organized as to be capable in time of emergency, in cooperation with the national militia and under the provisions of a proper national volunteer law, rapidly to expand into a force sufficient to resist all probable invasion from abroad, and to furnish a respectable expeditionary force, if necessary, in the maintenance of our traditional American policy, which bears the name of President Monroe.”
This concept is referred to as military readiness.
The Institute for Defense and Business claims, “Military readiness is the capability of the military force to meet the requests of their designated assignments or missions. The goal of military readiness is to ensure that the military force is ready and able to complete tasks at any time.”
As the original Patriot survival company, we understand the need for readiness at all times. Our line of products is designed to make readiness (aka preparedness) possible. Preparedness and survival are essential for true freedom.
Honor our troops, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply