Words to Live By. Literally.

August 17, 2022

On the heels of our recent series on police quotes, we wanted to share something that is not so much a quote but a way of life. A way of living. Literally. Daily mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation when it comes to facing the dangerous challenges of the job. Perhaps more.

This creed, which is similar in nature to the affirmations listed on Calibre Press’s Positive Self-Talk cards that we’ll share at the end, is designed to remind you of your mission, your mindset and your motivation to overcome whatever adversary or adversity you face.

Some may be familiar with this creed and if so, we hope it’s deeply engrained in your mind and heart and a daily part of your career. Many, however, are not familiar with this. We feel you must be.

Please read this now, print a copy and then review it before every shift. It’s a two-minute read that will steel your mind and could save your life.

The Officer Survival Creed

The will to survive, to survive the attack, must be uppermost in my mind. For the one who lives through a fight is better off than the one who does not. Therefore, preparation and not paranoia is the key to my survival. To survive I must be aware, be alert, be confident, be deceptive, be decisive, and be ready. I must expect the unexpected and do the unexpected.

When faced with violent assault, my life depends upon my reaction without hesitation. There is not time to ponder because to ponder is to possibly perish. My response, if attacked, must not be fear but aggressiveness. I must block out all thoughts of my own peril and think only of stopping the assailant.

My prize in personal defense is my life. The perfect fight is the one that is over before the loser realizes what is happening. The perfect defense is a counterattack that succeeds before the enemy can attack again. Therefore, if I am assaulted, I will retaliate instantly. I will be sudden and quick. I will be fast, not fair. Speed is my salvation.

If my attacker knocks me down, I will fight back against the odds and get up off the ground. I will seize the initiative and take every advantage. My concern is to stay alive. I won’t hold back.

If I find myself under lethal attack, I won’t be kind. I will be harsh and tough. If I must shoot, I will shoot with precision and shoot to stop. If I must use my hands, I will use them with all the strength I possess and more. When I strike, I will strike hard; I will kick, punch, and do what must be done to survive. I will strike no more after my attacker is incapable of further action, but I will see that he is stopped.

Above all, I won’t give up and I will make it. I will not die in the streets, or in an alley, or in any other part of the concrete jungle. I will survive, not just by luck and good fortune, but by my skills.

If I adhere to these basic principles of survival and adhere to the attitude that is suggested in them, as a police officer, I will greatly enhance and perfect my skills in utilizing good and safe practices, tactics and techniques.


Dovetailing off this, here are 12 affirmations from our Positive Self Talk Cards that will further bolster your mindset, preparedness and survival preparedness:

I will understand stress and control it during critical incidents.

I will seek out realistic training and am committed to learning my craft.

I will learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others.

I will know that more officers are killed in and around their vehicle than by gunfire.

I will wear my seatbelt and body armor at all times.

I will be well versed in body language, pre-attack indicators and deception.

I will adapt, improvise and overcome any adversary.

I will assume nothing and adhere to the one plus one rule.

I will use appropriate force when necessary.

I will be committed to maintaining balance and emotional health.

I will keep myself in physical shape.

I will survive this career.

Stay safe.

Feedback to share? E-mail us at editor@calibrepress.com. We love to hear from our readers!




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