Tagged: gray man hard target
January 8, 2018 at 4:57 pm #54484RobMParticipant
I’m sure that most here already know the difference between what each one is.
What prompts this thread is that my friend who is LE and I were having a conversation over the weekend about this. After our conversation, I’d like to get the MVT Community’s opinion on the hard target verse gray man theory.
By hard target I do not mean the guy that wear’s his “Molon Labe” and 2nd Amendment shirts while driving his truck that has 17 tacticool stickers on the back window…yeah we get it-you own guns . No, I’m talking about the guy who might wear Merrell boots, maybe along with 511 pants, perhaps a bit more of the Military/LE looking person here. There is more than clothing to this look. The guy that carries his shoulders back, that makes eye contact, that walks with a sense of confidence; this person also has some physical attributes (or may not but doesn’t take away from the overall).
As both have their own advantages and disadvantages, I’m curious to know people’s thoughts on the matter.
Hard Target- Some argue that the hard target is the first target. While I can see that making sense there is also a thought that the hard target reduces crime just by looking like a hard target. For example, a bad guy might walk into a store with the intent to rob the place, maybe after doing a quick scan, he sees the “hard target” and decides that it may not be a good idea. The analogy above is just that, you could make many different points as to what the situation might be. In essence the hard target deters a violent action or crime from ever happenening.
Gray Man- Given that this theory is designed to make one blend in then I would argue that this might give you a split second longer to make a reactionary action to a threat. As most of us know that predators are ambush hunters and while being the gray man, it might allow you to react with a split second longer than what a hard target has to work with, assuming that the hard target is the first target in the room.
Personally, I try to find a balance of both of these theories. Blending in while being a hard target. I think a lot of this has to do with how one carries himself/herself in public. Something else that I try to personally “exercise” daily is reading people. Quick scans…up, down, face, eyes, hands, situation, location…etc. What I’m doing is scanning for a threat before it happens. That doesn’t mean being a paranoid person or walking around with an angry look, making obvious stares at people. It’s a very subtle, quick scan.
What are your thoughts on this?
RS+CTT, HEAT 2January 8, 2018 at 5:33 pm #54485
Depends on your mission.January 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm #54486RobMParticipant
The mission of life. I mean more day to day. Maybe running errands on the weekends, etc.
RS+CTT, HEAT 2January 8, 2018 at 8:03 pm #54488
Here are some thoughts for discussion.
Clearly hard target and gray man here refer to something other than a chosen profile for a mission. Profile for a mission depends on the situation.
But here Rob is talking about how we conduct ourselves in day to day life. I never believe on being the overt gun guy / 5.11 guy. But you may still be the ‘outdoors guy.’ So maybe Merrel boots but no 5.11?
I have talked elsewhere about how it is hard to truly be a gray man. For professional surveillance people are partially selected for being of ‘unmemorable’ physical appearance. There is also a large amount of acting that goes into this, to purposefully act, walk and show mannerisms in a way that will blend in. We are not doing that day to day.
So rather than being what you wear, the ‘hard target’ is obvious in the way he carries himself. I touched on this a little in the fear post – most people will not recognize this. They will recognize and possibly have some fear of you if you look the obvious part of the gansta, biker, hard man, tattooed viking or whatever. But if you look like a ‘suburban dad’ they will not see you as a threat. But if you carry yourself confidently, the people that will recognize it are people like law enforcement, military, and of course the predators.
Predators will observe you looking for likely soft targets. If you have a confident bearing and are alert, you will likely avoid things that will catch the unwary in a blitz attack.
So in many ways, ‘suburban dad’ who is actually trained, walks the line between hard target and gray man, will be disrespected by unaware punks who only know hard men from watching Sons of Anarchy, but will avoid potential danger simply by the bearing he adopts.
In a terrorist attack may you be the one who gets targeted first, after uniformed personnel? Maybe, but so what? You main threat is day to day, and in a terrorist attack, hopefully you are carrying concealed, trained, and ready to act. You may not be of course if you are forced to be a in a gun free zone, but you may still act.January 8, 2018 at 8:16 pm #54489Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
I would probably replace the gray man term with something like low profile or discreet apearance.
The whole gray man concept has become so distorted and full of ignorant assumptions; that like the term militia, it has some real negative stereotypes for me.
In my opinion being a hard target has little to do with dress and everything to do with body language.
The type of predator that identifies such characteristics has lived a life of real violence through OJT and won’t be fooled by a poser.
I would make the case that unless you are trying to be undercover or baiting a situation, your default should be hard. Another possibility would be while a event is happening and you are trying to temporarily blend in (softer).
There are possible variations depending on your environment and your familiarity in said environment (rural/suburban/urban). Certain areas have conditioned stereotypes that blend in and ones that negatively stand out.
In my area (my discussed) Realtree camo wear blends in, in NYC not so much.January 8, 2018 at 9:14 pm #54491RowlandParticipant
This depends a lot on where you are and what you are doing. If you want to shorten that to “mission specific”, that’s fine, but day-to-day is not really a mission. I was in Brasil recently for work for several weeks and I went “hard target” while walking on the streets and interacting in public. Hard gaze, stoic face, clear purpose when I walked and didn’t slow down or stop for things. It worked well and I avoided a few problems that I heard some other folks experienced when I wasn’t around (mostly beggars and hookers, but some drug related stuff). Can’t carry in Brasil so my normal posture of low profile might have been mistaken for “quiet weak foreigner” in their culture. Very few people are quiet down there.
I’ll be back down there in a few weeks and will do it again. Throw in a few Portuguese phrases that mean, “Leave me alone.”
Many of us are hunting mice while lions devour the land. -Leonard RavenhillJanuary 8, 2018 at 9:23 pm #54492RobertParticipant
Tried to explain to people for years now that it’s more than just dressing a certain way.
You can pick up on the “feel” of someone at times.
Sometimes it may be to your advantage to give off that “vibe” and most of the time it is not.
RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18, 5/19January 8, 2018 at 9:38 pm #54493A_A_Ron2gunsParticipant
If you’re trying to dress a certain way to not be a victim you might be praying to s false god.
I’m me. I look like me and act like myself. I’m a genuinely happy and funny guy. Lots of people have mistaken that as something else. It’s always been their mistake.
I don’t pretend to be something or someone I’m not. Just be yourself. If you’re competent you’ll be fine. If you’re not competent a pair of boots and some cargo pants won’t help.
You are what you do, when it counts. -The Masao
Not the other Aaron's in this industry!January 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm #54496DarkriversParticipant
I think what you look or act like is a lot less important than the work you put in training. It is really tempting to judge capabilities by how someone looks, until you get your ass handed to you by a scrawny old man or a little lady. Obviously there will be times when acting a certain way may make you more or less likely to be a victim.
If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from TexasJanuary 8, 2018 at 10:18 pm #54497RoadkillParticipant
Awareness skills and use of space never go out of style. Be cognizant of threat fields, fatal funnels, hard corners; aware of cover, concealment, exits, and you will be ahead of most threat issues. Don’t dress like a movie star, but appropriate for the area you will be in.
RS/CTT Nov 16
HEAT1 Aug18January 8, 2018 at 10:18 pm #54498Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
If your trained, prepared, and aware your are a hard target.
Sometimes it’s to your advantage to look less so, but for us you shouldn’t have to pretend to be a hard target, you are one.
If not you better get some real training.
…professional surveillance people…
While of interest, what Max is talking about is beyond the scope for most and like the vast majority of the skills we discuss you don’t learn “how to” from a forum!January 9, 2018 at 10:39 am #54509wesmcParticipant
Regardless of dress, it doesn’t take a trained eye to differentiate between a hard and soft target. I see soft targets, quite often, wearing gun-guy shirts, biker shit, thug apparel, and even tacticool threads. The obvious pudgy/obese, inflamed look is the dead giveaway.
C2G Feb 2015, CTT March 2016, CQB June 2018January 9, 2018 at 10:41 am #54510wesmcParticipant
One more thing – don’t fuck with the guy wearing TacGun or MVT patches.
C2G Feb 2015, CTT March 2016, CQB June 2018January 9, 2018 at 7:41 pm #54527
If its day to day life your talking about then hard. Why would you want to blend in or look like an easy target when your out at the mall or getting groceries?January 9, 2018 at 9:32 pm #54529
@Firstclassendeavors@gmail.com – is there a reason your email address is your username? Have you not been able to change it? Do you want to change it?January 10, 2018 at 3:37 pm #54562
Thats what i use to login to the forums. You can change it to mike.January 10, 2018 at 4:28 pm #54568
Done. Took me 35 seconds. That will be $10 please.January 10, 2018 at 11:10 pm #54584First SergeantModerator
I cover this in DCH.
One of the biggest ways to keep from being a victim of random crime i.e. getting mugged, is to be aware of your surroundings. Head up, paying attention to what is going on(don’t have your head buried in your phone), actively scanning your environment. You can be subtle with this.
Most criminals are looking for an easy target. They want the payoff with the least amount of work possible. So who are they going to go after, the guy that is paying attention to what is going on around him or the guy that has no clue what is going on and has head in his phone, earbuds in and a cup of coffee in his hand?
Signal out, can you identify.
Je ne regrette rien...
Klagt Nicht, KämpftJanuary 11, 2018 at 8:08 am #54591rampantraptorParticipant
Just to chime my two cents in, being a city kid I’d note the value of matching the demographic in your area. It’s more than looking like a proud f*cking civilian vs. walking around in 5.11 tactical gear, it’s matching how people dress around you. If I’m dressed like a hipster walking around North Avenue (a rough part of town here, for reference) I’m probably more prone to looking like easy pickings with good loot or lots of cash for a potential robber than if I dress more like a working-class white dude whose probably just as broke as the robber is.
And like First Sergeant said, these dudes like to sneak up on you when you’re distracted or not paying attention, if you maintain situational awareness it helps. If I’m walking out and about I’m never clogging up my hearing with earbuds, if I’m in an area where I’m not 100% comfortable and want to check my phone I’ll go along a wall or somewhere where I can avoid getting sneaked from behind and keep a better view on my peripheral vision with a reasonable line of sight. If I’m crossing past alleys or side streets I’m checking as I move, checking behind my back every once in a while to make sure I’m not being tailed. If I’m carrying a soda or something I’m usually trying to carry it in my non-dominant hand.
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Jîn, Jiyan, AzadîJanuary 12, 2018 at 11:47 am #54641BrigandActualParticipant
I can’t remember if it recommended here or elsewhere, but a great related book is that Left of Bang. I listened to it while driving across the country last year.
I agree that the whole Grey Man thing is played out and become so vague as to not really mean anything.
Know where you are, be aware of what’s going on around you, carry yourself confidently, live life.
"Man is still the first weapon of war" - Field Marshal Montgomery
Matt B - VAJanuary 12, 2018 at 11:55 am #54642DarkriversParticipant
Judging how hard of a target someone is by their appearance is a good way to get your ass handed to you.
Sun Tzu talks often about deception and therefore warns against being deceived by the enemy and underestimating their ability. ‘He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.’ It’s important to properly assess your opponent without prejudice or assumption.
If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from Texas
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