Article written by Guest Blogger WillG, a CF Medic with multiple deployments.
There are three places your primary weapon doesn’t belong: on the ground, on the ground and, finally, ON THE GROUND!!! Through multiple training venues, as both student and instructor, I learned this lesson before the crucible of combat. Under stressful conditions, weapons and gear that are not attached to your body WILL be walked away from. Many people will argue that THEY will never walk away from their weapon or gear, but at the end of most TCCC training scenarios I have a collection of gear and rifles to return to the students. Most of them actually. By the end of a TCCC course, the students have gotten the message about weapons and gear.
As a tactical medic or when tasked as a first responder, primary weapon sling selection becomes very important. The reality of combat and tactical operations is that weapons are carried more than they are fired. So your sling must allow for reasonable comfort when carrying in an employable position for long periods. When actively engaged, your sling must complement accurate shooting, weapon transitions, immediate actions, remedial actions and tactical movement. Finally, when treating casualties, your sling must secure your weapon so you can have use of both hands, can move patients and not cause further injury to casualties or those around you. An accidental muzzle strike from an unsecured weapon flailing about can leave a rather nasty laceration. This is a tall order for a piece of tactical nylon!!
My experiences have taught me that the tactical medical operator needs a high quality two point adjustable sling. This style of sling attaches to the weapon at two points; usually to the fore stock/rail and the stock or sling plate. The length of the sling must be adjustable using one hand – longer or shorter as the situation dictates. This supports different load-outs, varied shooting positions and engaging from the opposite shoulder. When committed to casualty care, the weapon can be shifted to the medic’s back and secured by tightened the sling. This frees up the use of both hands and allows the medic to make movement with or around patients not causing injury to casualties or your mates.
Slings within the military have been traditionally woefully lacking in tactical effectiveness. They are primarily a carrying strap for drill. A proper sling must:
- allow carrying in an ready position for extended periods
- assist shooting, moving and remedial actions
- must secure the weapon allowing for use of both hands while avoiding accidental injury to casualties
A good tactical sling that compliments your skill sets is an important investment. Fight the battle. Control the chaos. Do not fight your gear.
DO NO HARM, DO KNOW HARM