Saturday, February 25, 2012

What is a greyman? - Mindset

This is going to be the start of a series on what a Greyman is. Starting with mindset, then moving on to tactics, skills, and gear. Our blog here bears the name "Greyman Doctrine" for two separate unrelated reasons the first is that when I was in middle school I wore a grey hoodie all the time as my daily outerwear and a kid in my class found it funny that I always had a grey hoodie on and so I was given the title "Greyman" It stuck through high school.

Second is a nickname from the cold war era. The term “Greyman” originated as a slang term for people who worked in espionage and intelligence, during the latter part of the cold war era. These days Greyman is usually applied to someone who works in the intelligence, law enforcement or security industries who wishes to blend in to the everyday environment.

People in certain industries can spot other people in that line of work because of how they look and how they act (puffing up their chest and bragging etc) How can you spot a firefighter? You don't have to spot him he will tell you and everyone in ear shot how he is a firefighter!

Now for firefighters that is not that big of a deal but the same type of attitude is carried by security professionals working in high risk areas. Ask any security professional who has moved through Dubai on the way to work a detail in Iraq or Afghanistan in the last decade and they will share a funny story of a dude standing around the airport dressed like this.
  Now photography vests and khaki cargo pants are all well and good however by wearing that stuff outside of your deployment area you might as well hold up a neon sign that reads "Hey there my Nubian brethren I carry a gun and shoot jihadists for a living you should kidnap me!"

If you wear that stuff here in the first world outside of a training course you look like a fucking geek and broadcast to those who know the signs that you are some sort of hard charging pipe hitter.

Tactical styled gear in a non deployment setting is a giant target indicator. This is a quote from an article written by a security contractor named Luke while traveling through Dubai Airport

"The last time I flew out, I watched in horror as a guy walked down the concourse to get on the airplane.  He had his 511 pants on, his 511 shirt, his company hat and a tan Blackhawk bag that had his nametag nicely stitched on it. I asked him if he knew he stuck out like a sore thumb and he said 
yeah, but “so what?”."

Do not be that person. Have the mindset of someone who doesn't want to be seen or remembered. I'm not saying being paranoid just realize the Mumbai attack specifically targeted westerners. This principle does not just apply to military and security professionals they were just a good example to use. Be grey in everything you do.


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