No, this is not the title of the next popular action movie. When flying complex, tactical missions, often our objectives for the day were as simple as Kill and Survive.
Kill. Go on offense.
Have a gameplan that takes the fight to the enemy. Defend with vigor and ferocity. Plan with intention. Nothing will stop you from getting to the target.
Details matter and you must sweat the small stuff. The enemy could move a surface-to-air missile sight one mile and completely wreck your gameplan. Be intentional. Everything has a purpose, from the formation and reset points, to the lineup and who goes first, to the fuel and weapons loadout. Nothing is done by chance. You are required to have a “shoot first” mentality.
Knowledge of the battlefield is paramount. From suspected enemy hides, to knowing the terrain, you must study every aspect of the environment. Know that things will go wrong and have a plan to deal with them when they do.
Missiles and bombs do not always work. People make mistakes and execution errors. Weather is often unpredictable. The enemy gets a vote and can and will change tactics and posture without letting you know. Sometimes you have to do a last-ditch threat reaction to the dirt, jump behind a mountain for a few minutes, and run like hell to get out of the threat envelope. When your plan does not work, you must fall back on your preparation and practice to select the best audible in order to come home alive.
Kill and Survive-
These objectives are measurable. At the end of the mission, you can quickly and mathematically add up whether you achieved the goals. Debrief to the objectives and find the soft points in the plan or execution. Did the plan work? If not, why not? If so, how can we make it better for next time? Was the plan solid but we just failed to execute?
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to recognize these objectives can be applied to almost anything. Offense is always better than defense. Being prepared and planning extensively will help the execution go smoothly.
Whether dealing with finances, sports, business, a deep interdiction mission into bad guy land, or just your daily life, meticulously plan, posture your forces, and perform with excellence. You should always strive to Kill and Survive.