Monday, November 30, 2015

Knots-Ranger Handbook

9- 7. KNOTS
a. Square Knot. This joins two ropes of equal diameter (Figure 9-5): Two interlocking bites, running ends exit on same side of standing portion of rope. Each tail is secured with an overhand knot on the standing end. When you dress the knot, leave at least a 4 inch tail on the working end. 

Figure 9-5. SQUARE KNOT

b. Round Turn with Two Half Hitches. This is a constant tension anchor knot (Figure 9-6). The rope forms a complete turn around the anchor point (thus the name “round turn”), with both ropes parallel and touching, but not crossing. Both half hitches are tightly dressed against the round turn, with the locking bar on top. When you dress the knot, leave at least a 4 inch tail on the working end. 


Figure 9-6. ROUND TURN WITH TWO HALF HITCHES

c. End–of–the–Rope Clove Hitch. This is an intermediate anchor knot (Figure 9-7) that requires constant tension. Make two turns around the anchor (1). A locking bar runs diagonally from one side to the other. Leave no more than one rope width between turns of rope (2). Locking bar is
opposite direction of pull. When you dress the knot, leave at least a 4-inch tail on the working end.


Figure 9-7. END–OF–THE–ROPE CLOVE HITCH

d. Middle–of–the–Rope Clove Hitch. This knot (Figure 9-8) secures the middle of a rope to an anchor. The knot forms two turns around the anchor (1, 2). A locking bar runs diagonally from one side to the other. Leave no more than one rope width between turns (3). Ensure the locking bar is
opposite the direction of pull.

Figure 9-8. MIDDLE–OF–THE–ROPE CLOVE HITCH

e. Rappel Seat. The rappel seat (Figure 9-9) is a rope harness used in rappelling and climbing. It can be tied for use with the left or right hand (1). Leg straps do not cross, and are centered on buttocks and tight (2). Leg straps form locking half hitches on rope around waist. Square knot properly
tied on right hip (3) and finished with two overhand knots. Tails must be even, within 6 inches (4). Carabiner properly inserted around all ropes with opening gate opening up and away (5). Carabiner will not come in contact with square knot or overhand knot. Rappel seat is tight enough not to allow a fist to be inserted between the rappeller’s body and the harness.

Figure 9-9. RAPPEL SEAT

f. Double Figure 8. Use a Figure 8 loop knot (Figure 9-10) to form a fixed loop in the end of the rope. It can be tied at the end of the rope or anywhere along the length of the rope. Figure 8 loop knots are formed by two ropes parallel to each other in the shape of a Figure 8, no twists are in the Figure
8. Fixed loops are large enough to insert a carabiner. When you dress the knot, leave at least a 4 inch tail on the working end.

Figure 9-10. DOUBLE FIGURE 8 LOOP KNOT

g. Rerouted Figure 8 Knot. This anchor knot also attaches a climber to a climbing rope. Form a Figure 8 in the rope, and pass the working end around an anchor. Reroute the end back through to form a double Figure 8 (Figure 9-11). Tie the knot with no twists. When you dress the knot, leave at least a 4 inch tail on the working end.


Figure 9-11. REROUTED FIGURE 8 KNOT


h. Figure 8 Slip Knot. The Figure 8 slip is used to form an adjustable bight in the middle of a rope. Knot is in the shape of a Figure 8. Both ropes of the bight pass through the same loop of the Figure 8. The bight is adjustable by means of a sliding section (Figure 9-12).

Figure 9-12. FIGURE 8 SLIP KNOT

i. End–of–the–Rope Prusik. This knot (Figure 9-13) attaches a movable rope to a fixed rope. The knot has two round turns, with a locking bar perpendicular to the standing end of the rope. Tie a bow line within 6 inches of the locking bar. When you dress the knot, leave at least a 4 inch tail on the working end. 


Figure 9-13. END–OF–THE–ROPE PRUSIK

j. Middle–of–the–Rope Prusik. The Middle–of–the–Rope Prusik (Figure 9-14) attaches a movable rope to a fixed rope anywhere along the length of the fixed rope. To make this knot, make two round turns with a locking bar perpendicular to the standing end. Ensure the wraps do not cross and that
the overhand knot is within 6 inches from the horizontal locking bar. Ensure the knot does not move freely on the fixed rope.


Figure 9-14



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Monday, October 12, 2015

Putting Influence Techniques to Work-Army Leadership

7-18. To succeed and create true commitment, influencing techniques should be perceived as authentic and sincere. Positive influence comes from leaders who do what is right for the Army, the mission, the team, and each individual Soldier. Negative influence—real and perceived—emanates from leaders who primarily focus on personal gain and lack self-awareness. Even honorable intentions, if wrongly perceived by followers as self-serving, will yield mere compliance. False perception may trigger unintended side
effects such as resentment of the leader and the deterioration of unit cohesion.

7-19. The critical nature of the mission also determines which influence technique or combination of techniques is appropriate. When a situation is urgent and greater risk is involved, eliciting follower compliance may be desirable. Direct-level leaders often use compliance techniques to coordinate team activities in an expedient manner. In comparison, organizational leaders typically pursue a longer-term focus and use indirect influence to build strong commitment. 

7-20. When influencing their followers, Army leaders should consider that—  
  • The objectives for the use of influence should be in line with the Army Values, ethics, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Warrior Ethos, and the Civilian Creed.
  • Various influence techniques can be used to obtain compliance and commitment.
  • Compliance-seeking influence focuses on meeting and accounting for specific task demands.
  • Commitment-encouraging influence emphasizes empowerment and long-lasting trust.

Monday, October 5, 2015

US Army Physical Readiness-For Army Training and Obstacle Races



The Army Physical Readiness Training (APRT) manual is excellent for those working out, preparing for basic, getting ready for boards, or maintaining peak Army fitness. However, did you know the US Army and Army Reserves sponsors mud runs such as Tough Mudder? Soldiers and veterans also compete in Warrior Dash, Spartan Races, Savage Races, Battlefrog and more. 

The APRT manual provides obstacle course appropriate exercises as well as obstacle course designs. It's a great aide for conducting the right exercise with perfect technique.

Here are a few shots from the APRT manual:


How to climb a rope

Monkey bars anyone?

Execute a perfect pull up 

Look familiar?

Add a jump for instant burpees

These are at all the mud run obstacle races
The following exercises can be adapted from the many, many variations found in the APRT. Take a look at how you can get ready for your next race. Substitute these exercises for your own:

Sprint .75 and .25 mile distance at race pace, while integrating  intervals of tough obstacle training. The run is a total of 4.1 miles at just under race pace and with 20 obstacles.

Mile 1
10 spider man burpees
18 foot rope climb
balance beam on 1x6 board


5 pull ups with leg lifts
Alternate pull ups between swing set and Cannon Balls
Run .31 miles
6 spider man burpees 
2 x monkey bars

Run .75 miles

Mile 2
10 spider man burpees
18 foot rope climb
balance beam on 1x6 board
5 pull ups with leg lifts

Run .75 miles
6 spider man burpees 
2 x monkey bars

Run .31 miles

Mile 3
10 spider man burpees
25 foot spider man crawl
25 foot bear crawl
Climb ladder up and back down x 2
balance beam on 1x6 board
Pull cinder block sled

If you like these exercises, check out http://runinmud.blogspot.com

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Want something new to read? Try the new novel Devoted

Monday, September 28, 2015

9-6. Anchors-Rock Climbing Ranger Style

     Anchors are the base, for all installations and roped mountaineering techniques. Anchors must be strong enough to support the entire weight of the load or impact placed upon them. Several  pieces of artificial or natural protection may be incorporated together to make one multi point anchor.
     Anchors are classified as Artificial or Natural.
a. Artificial Anchors. Artificial anchors are constructed using all manmade material. The most common anchors incorporate traditional or fixed protection (Figure 9-3).
b. Natural Anchors. Natural anchors are usually very strong and often simple to construct using minimal equipment.      Trees, shrubs and boulders are the most common. All natural anchors simply require a method of attaching a rope. Regardless of the type of natural anchor used, the anchor
must be strong enough to support the entire weight of the load.
(1) Trees. These are probably the most widely used of all anchors. In rocky terrain, trees usually have a very shallow root system. Check this by pushing or tugging on the tree to see how well it is rooted. Anchor as low as possible to prevent excess leverage on the tree. Use padding on soft, sap producing trees to keep sap off ropes and slings.
(2) Rock Projections and Boulders. You can use these, but they must be heavy enough, and have a stable enough base to support the load.
(3) Bushes and Shrubs. If no other suitable anchor is available, route a rope around the bases of several bushes. As with trees, place the anchoring rope as low as possible to reduce leverage on the anchor. Make sure all vegetation is healthy and well rooted to the ground.
(4) Tensionless Anchor. This is used to anchor rope on high load installations such as bridging. The wraps of the rope around the anchor (Figure 9-4) absorb the tension of the installation and keep the tension off the knot and carabiner. Tie it with a minimum of four wraps around the anchor; however a smooth anchor (small tree, pipe, or rail) may
require several more wraps. Wrap the rope from top to bottom. Place a  fixed loop into the end of the rope and attached loosely back onto the rope with a carabiner.

Figure 9-3

Figure 9-4




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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Influence Techniques Continued-Army Leadership

7-14. Apprising happens when the leader explains why a request will benefit a follower, such as giving
them greater satisfaction in their work or performing a task a certain way that will save half the time. In contrast to the exchange technique, the benefits are out of the control of the leader. A commander may use the apprising technique to inform a newly assigned noncommissioned officer that serving in an operational staff position, prior to serving as a platoon sergeant, could provide him with invaluable experience. The commander points out that the additional knowledge may help the NCO achieve higher performance than his peers and possibly lead to an accelerated promotion to first sergeant.

7-15. Inspiration occurs when the leader fires up enthusiasm for a request by arousing strong emotions to build conviction. A leader may stress to a fellow officer that without help, the safety of the team may be at risk. By appropriately stressing the results of stronger commitment, a unit leader can inspire followers to surpass minimal standards and reach elite performance status.

7-16. Participation occurs when the leader asks a follower to take part in planning how to address a problem or meet an objective. Active participation leads to an increased sense of worth and recognition. It provides value to the effort and builds commitment to execute the commitment. Invitation to get involved is critical when senior leaders try to institutionalize a vision for long-term change. By involving key leaders of all levels during the planning phases, senior leaders ensure that their followers take stock in the vision.
These subordinates will later be able to pursue critical intermediate and long-term objectives, even after senior leaders have moved on. 

7-17. Relationship building is a technique in which leaders build positive rapport and a relationship of mutual trust, making followers more willing to support requests. Examples include, showing personal interest in a follower’s well-being, offering praise, and understanding a follower’s perspective. This technique is best used over time. It is unrealistic to expect it can be applied hastily when it has not been
previously used. With time, this approach can be a consistently effective way to gain commitment from
followers.

Get ready for Army Basic Training or Leadership schools with US Army Leadership:


Monday, August 31, 2015

How to Influence Others US Army Style


7-14. Apprising happens when the leader explains why a request will benefit a follower, such as giving them greater satisfaction in their work or performing a task a certain way that will save half the time. In contrast to the exchange technique, the benefits are out of the control of the leader. A commander may use the apprising technique to inform a newly assigned noncommissioned officer that serving in an operational staff position, prior to serving as a platoon sergeant, could provide him with invaluable experience. The
commander points out that the additional knowledge may help the NCO achieve higher performance than
his peers and possibly lead to an accelerated promotion to first sergeant.

7-15. Inspiration occurs when the leader fires up enthusiasm for a request by arousing strong emotions to build conviction. A leader may stress to a fellow officer that without help, the safety of the team may be at risk. By appropriately stressing the results of stronger commitment, a unit leader can inspire followers to surpass minimal standards and reach elite performance status.

7-16. Participation occurs when the leader asks a follower to take part in planning how to address a problem or meet an objective. Active participation leads to an increased sense of worth and recognition. It provides value to the effort and builds commitment to execute the commitment. Invitation to get involved is critical when senior leaders try to institutionalize a vision for long-term change. By involving key leaders of all levels during the planning phases, senior leaders ensure that their followers take stock in the vision.
These subordinates will later be able to pursue critical intermediate and long-term objectives, even after
senior leaders have moved on.

7-17. Relationship building is a technique in which leaders build positive rapport and a relationship of mutual trust, making followers more willing to support requests. Examples include, showing personal interest in a follower’s well-being, offering praise, and understanding a follower’s perspective. This technique is best used over time. It is unrealistic to expect it can be applied hastily when it has not been
previously used. With time, this approach can be a consistently effective way to gain commitment from
followers.

Get ready for Army Basic Training or Leadership schools with US Army Leadership:


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Influence Techniques US Army Leadership Continued

7-10. Exchange is an influence technique that leaders use when they make an offer to provide some
desired item or action in trade for compliance with a request. The exchange technique requires that the
leaders control certain resources or rewards that are valued by those being influenced. A four-day pass as reward for excelling during a maintenance inspection is an example of an exchange influence technique.

7-11. Personal appeals occur when the leader asks the follower to comply with a request based on
friendship or loyalty. This might often be useful in a difficult situation when mutual trust is the key to
success. The leader appeals to the follower by highlighting the subordinate leader’s special talents and
professional trust to strengthen him prior to taking on a tough mission. An S3 might ask a staff officer to brief at an important commander’s conference if the S3 knows the staff officer will do the best job and convey the commander’s intent.

7-12. Collaboration occurs when the leader cooperates in providing assistance or resources to carry out a directive or request. The leader makes the choice more attractive by being prepared to step in and resolve any problems. A major planning effort prior to a deployment for humanitarian assistance would require possible collaboration with joint, interagency, or multinational agencies.

7-13. Rational persuasion requires the leader to provide evidence, logical arguments, or explanations
showing how a request is relevant to the goal. This is often the first approach to gaining compliance or commitment from followers and is likely to be effective if the leader is recognized as an expert in the specialty area in which the influence occurs. Leaders often draw from their own experience to give reasons that some task can be readily accomplished because the leader has tried it and done it.