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Back in 2005-ish when the U.S. Army began instructing reflexive fire as part of their train-up for deploying soldier there was much concern about range safety. The training value for this exercise was to be able to neutralize a threat with your weapon with minimal response time and maximum lethal force in a 360 degree field of fire. In case you have never seen reflexive fire training on a range, it pretty much looks like a row of soldiers doing a line dance with a loaded weapon and body armor. You move and face different directions and fire on command while the soldier next to you is not more than a few feet away. Needless to say that there was a huge risk of somebody negligently shooting his or her buddy during training. The concern was that the new soldiers who never handled a weapon outside of training would panic -OR- the older seasoned veterans would be so set in their ways that they would involuntarily reject the training. It wasn’t more than a half hour (maybe less) into the training when a salty old former SF Sergeant who must have joined when Christ was a Corporal stopped everybody and calmly stated, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast!” He really didn’t need to explain much more than that. When a soldier got his or her footing wrong and/or started to become overwhelmed with the commands, he would call a cease fire, reset, and yell, “Remember: Slow is smooth, smooth is fast!” Between being clear minded and focused on my movements and reacting to commands, repetition lead to muscle memory. After a couple of days of this training, I found myself less anxious and able to execute commands with minimal though and maximum calm.

I realize that this sounds cliche and appealing to the lowest common denominator, but when I find myself becoming overwhelmed and on the road to making a bad decision, I always remember that crusty old NCO saying in his baritone voice, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”. I took that thought with me overseas and now apply it to my everyday civilian job. It’s what works for me.

"If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die historic on the Fury Road."