Team Tactics… With Your… Spouse?!


Who goes left? Who goes right? Far better to communicate
in advance to work these details out.

Why would you need training in tactics with your spouse or significant other? You don’t have to become the next high-speed operator to leverage basic skills and tactics with your significant other. On the other hand, you cannot put your head in the sand and hope danger passes you by; evil does not care who you are or how important you are to your family or loved ones. Understanding some basic team principles and tactics will better prepare you to handle an incident.

Admit It Can Happen

The most important step is to understand that something can happen to you and your family anywhere or anytime. This mindset is key to not freezing when the preverbal fight comes. It won’t make you and your partner paranoid maniacs — it will empower you to do more because you have the skills to survive a critical incident.

Communication is key to working with others or teams. Create and have keywords your “team” understands. Use terms not in your everyday vocabulary so there is no misunderstanding of what you need to do.


During an incident, do you stay together or separate? I don’t mean going in a different direction and losing sight of your team. I mean, you create distance from your partner so you can see things they cannot. If the threat is near you, do you want to be standing next to each other, or do you want to separate and create a decision for the bad guy to have to deal with? Remember, the bad guy has to process problems too. We want to get inside their decision-making process (OODA loop). This takes time — which you can use to act.

In a structure, your back will be frequently exposed. These partners are covering each other’s blind spots.

Distance And Angles

When searching a structure, you need to understand how to leverage distance and angles. What we see most in shoot house runs, even after explaining the use of cover/concealment on the square range, is that people do not effectively use distance from the cover. If you are on level ground, you can create as much distance as your structure will allow so you will have a better angle to see your threat.

In the shoot house, we see people hugging (getting close to) cover because it makes them feel safe, but we expose more of ourselves to the threat. It’s easy to understand this basic principle by getting your partner to sit inside of a room or around a corner — with no weapons! Get close to the door frame and try to look in and see them, then back off a little and repeat, then back off to the maximum distance the structure will allow and see which gives you the ability to expose them without exposing much of you. Then swap positions.

If my threat is on high ground or below me, I may need to “hug” the cover/concealment and work that way. Understand I am hitting the high points only here. Remember, reading what to do does no good unless you put the knowledge into hands-on practice.

Knowing precisely what your partner will be doing takes practice and repetition.
Note her muzzle discipline as he enters the room and her supporting position.

Reading & Searching A Structure

Learn to understand the basic construction of a building. Look at doors and where the hinges are. Where is the doorknob? This will tell you in which direction the door will open and if it will open in or out. This will allow you to position yourself and your partner in a better position of cover, distance and angles to handle the room.

Once a new problem presents itself, such as a new room, I want to see as much as possible before I enter. I do that by applying distance and angles to “slice the pie” of the room. I will take a small “slice” of the room and look for threat indicators before I take another “slice.” I will also search in rays and not in bands, looking from the ground to the ceiling and then from the ceiling back to the ground. I will not look left and right because I miss low and high threats and not look past something like a couch or table.

Searching a building or an area outside is a perishable skill, just like training with your weapon. Adding another person to this is even more demanding.

We’re just scratching the surface of this topic, so the best way to understand working with your partner is to seek out training and put all these words into hands-on practical scenarios to see what works for your team!

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