Dead Mans Hand
Dead Mans Hand

Understand Risk VS Gamble or You May Draw This Hand

If you carry a gun for a profession, then you’ve entered the world of risk management at the deep end. Traveling the semi/non-permissive zones of the world is what I share in common with Contractors, Soldiers, Jihadists, militiamen, criminals, and terrorists alike. The thing I’ve noticed is that some do a better job at managing risks than others. Traveling the Red Zone offers a unique opportunity to examine, define, and truly get to know what risk is made of. A good starting point to gain a better understanding of risk and what it takes to manage it is to peer out into the space you occupy right now. You might be at home, in your car, or preparing to mount a mission in some shit-stain Country that the State Department warns you against ‘visiting.’

The point is this, you occupy space, are a human being that requires air rushing in and out and blood going round and round, and it’s a fact that you need to employ your brain to keep your other body parts intact. Hence, the everyday intrinsic need to the manage risks your environment, lifestyle, and job engender.

Your objective is to reach out into your environment and decide what problems or hazards may exist or arise and preempt any issues with a solid set of solutions. Solutions can both be kinetic, non kinetic, or a mix of both.

Remember a risk is something you take and can calculate an expected or potential outcome for given your likely course of actions. However, a gamble is something not to engage in.

When shit goes down, it is almost always preceded by telltales. Danger and risk don’t just appear out of thin air. They are shaped by your environment and those looking snuff you out or rob you blind. You’ve got to develop your ability to see problems coming and form and effective responses in kind.

There are many indicators of risk, danger, and hazard. A list can be developed but will never be complete no matter your profession, environment, or activities; a list of indicators is always being redacted and revised for continuity and change in direction. However, a list can be practical as a guidepost or set of heuristics to point you in the right direction and start to cover your ass.

Here are some potential indicators of danger from my work environment:

  • Absence of people or the authorities
  • Snap check points on Red Zone Roads
  • Anyone with a cell phone in hand while I pass
  • Anyone with a firearm whose NOT a team member
  • Vehicle I see more than once
  • Anyone impeding my progress no matter the cause or reason
  • Potholes. Roadside berms, or anywhere an IED might be planted or reseeded.
  • Any terrain features that slow or choke my forward progress.

The problems you encounter might be simple or complex in nature. Any of the above listed indicators can lead to serious drama, but quite a bit of the trouble can be seen coming before it happens. Take the time to develop a list and a set of actions to manage your risks.

What are some Indicators that you can list given your terrain and situation?


~Bubba G Editor at Large


Bubba G. is an active protective professional presently performing contract duties in the Middle East and has well over 15 years of military, high risk contracting, international training and martial arts experience.