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Sheepdog Equipment Reality Check

Sergeant Rich Starkville Police Department

In the news this week, there was a report that Mississippi State University had an active shooter on campus. Thankfully for everyone involved, the initial reports were in error. The subject in question was distraught and threatening to harm himself and others. As of this writing, I am not even sure the subject possessed a firearm. But what caught my attention was a photo of MSU PD Sergeant Virginia Rich.


Sergeant Rich Starkville Police Department
Sergeant Rich MSU Police Department

Best I can tell, she is a 21 year police veteran. Trained fire fighter. SWAT officer. PD Field Training Officer (FTO). Certified EMT. Bike Patrol Officer. State Certified LE Trainer. Simunitions Instructor. Firearms Instructor. Detective and Certified Scuba Diver. In researching her resume, it also appears she has some pretty high on-the-job commendations. I have to point all of this out because if I don’t, some 13 y/o internet commando will try to negate her credibility thus undermining my point.


And what is my point? Did you notice how she was dressed? Women’s fashionably slim pants, high heels, and some kind of fashionable, women’s top. She is also carrying a flat-top AR-15, loaded, and possibly wearing soft body armor.


Russian SF Solider Load out. Real World?
Russian SF Solider Load out. Real World?

Where is her zombie apocalypse outfit? Where is her SWAT callout jumpsuit? Kneepads? Camouflage? Blowout kit? Reloads? LBE? Plate Carrier? Camelback? Flash bangs and smoke? Gas Mask? Where are her non-leathel option? Where are her Comm’s? NVG’s? Breacher Bars? Etc, etc, etc? The reason she is dressed like this is because this is what she was wearing when the call came in. “Active shooter! Active Shooter!”


There simply is no time to put her zombie apocalypse outfit on. She grabbed a rifle and ran out the door. Was she first on scene? Don’t know. Frankly don’t care. The uniformed officer next to her is carrying some kind of bag. He isn’t ninja’d out either. Again he probably didn’t have time. He had time to grab a bag.


Confession: I don’t personally wear a plate carrier when training. I just don’t. There was a time in my life when I had to wear body armor but anymore…I don’t. Why? Because someone isn’t, specifically, trying to kill me these days. Yay me! But it is my experience that illuminates the logical fallacy of many fellow Second Amendment advocates who always parrot the following, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”. Then that same guy will spend 10 minutes putting on his “full-kit” World War Z costume just to get range time in. Here is a pro-tip, home gamers. If whatever you wear, wasn’t issued to you by some entity also giving you a paycheck, it’s not “kit”. It’s crap you bought. And if you don’t live life wearing that crap, why are you training in it?


A more flexible load out?
Is this a more realistic emergency load out?

Sheepdog advice: If you have some “equipment” that you keep handy for emergencies and fancy yourself as a Minute Man, play a little mind game with me. Be it in your vehicle or in your house. Close your eyes and sit still. Imagine yourself in shorts & a t-shirt. Barefoot. In the dark. Lost in your own thoughts. Now…imagine me kicking you in the thigh very hard bringing you back to reality. As you look at me in shock and possibly a little pissed off that I just interrupted Shaolin-Temple-Time, I scream for a SECOND TIME what you missed the first time I yelled it,


“They’re shooting people next door!!!!!”


Is your “equipment” configured in such a way that you can sling some of it over your shoulder and run while it bangs around all loosey-goosey? It better, seconds count.  Will important pieces fall to the ground if carried in this way? Remember, seconds count.  Will you have to leave it behind because there is no time to play dress-up when it’s for real? Remember, those second are adding up.  Will any of it even be practical to carry slung through one arm while running full speed, carrying a rifle in the other? Tick-tock it don’t stop.  Does your World War Z ninja-suit require an under-belt or other sub-load to even wear? You’re in Jamaican-me crazy time now. 


Troop Wasn't On Duty. But They Were Hit.
Troop Wasn’t On Duty. But They Were Hit. Notice middle troop t-shirt and footwear

If I just crapped on $2000 worth of gear you have been accumulating since the GWOT, I’m sorry. But I hope I have your attention. Because unless you are part of an actual, commissioned, assault team being assigned counter-drug or anti-terrorism raids; most of what you bought is bullshit anyway. At least for you. You’re going to be lucky to have enough time to grab a rifle and one other thing. Choose wisely.





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