Fuck you Rob, and I mean that in the best possible way.

First off, thanks for always taking the time to look for feedback and ways to improve your programming.  I became an Operator Sessions devotee a long time ago around the time I was actually ending my career as an 18B in 10th Group.  As I have aged and physical fitness and life demands have changed, I have always come back to those sessions to get my brokedown ass in shape and measure where I’m at with my mental and physical fitness.

I am 41 and currently an agent with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DS), which unfortunately like most FLEs has no real enforcement of physical fitness standards.  DS runs the gamut of PT animals to fat slobs and everything in between.  We also have a unique culture where half our jobs are overseas and half domestic and we typically do one to three year rotations in these different positions.  The overseas gigs are much more highly regarded in the agency and the State Department at large.  That said, those two arenas potentially have very different physical fitness demands, as we are largely doing criminal investigations/close protection stateside or managing vast security programs/running protection overseas.  It can be difficult to sell the need for a high level of physical fitness as long as nothing goes wrong, but few agents understand that they could be dragging an unconscious protectee (i.e. Benghazi), under fire in a very bad place, and what the required level of fitness is to not only get them off the X but potentially fight back in a coherent manner.

I apologize for all the email diarrhea, but the point I’m getting to is that on a day to day basis our physical fitness requirements aren’t much beyond walking down the hall and pulverizing a computer keyboard.  On the other hand, overseas we often work alone with protectees in austere environments, small teams in failed states, or larger elements with DoD or PMCs in war zones.  Anything is possible and I am of the mindset that as an organization we should always look to be in shape for the worst case scenario.  It is simply not possible sometimes with our work schedules but myself and other colleagues have greatly appreciated your recent cycle of shortened but intensified Operator Sessions.  I can knock them out and get to my glorious 12hr day of cable and memo writing, but feel confident that when I have to take some “important person” out to bad guy country by myself, I am physically prepared if something goes wrong.

To your question, the Operator Sessions exceed the daily physical fitness needs of my agency but my belief is they are an exceptional measuring stick of performance for anyone who carries a weapon and does dangerous work.  I used to have to cut down the longer form sessions because I simply could not fit them in my day or use the “Busy Operator” programming, but the current cycles have been a perfect fit and still thrash me.  Even if you can’t continue to focus on creating shorter training sessions with the same level of impact, myself and others I work with greatly appreciate what is already on the site and would love to see more like it.

I’ll stop making your eyes bleed with one anecdote.  I have converted a lot of guys and gals from different military and LE backgrounds to MTI training and I have always passed on my training mantra, which has stuck with just about all of them.  I look at the session for the day and I say “fuck you, Rob Shaul” outloud for the pain you are about to make me endure, and I end it with the same when I’ve completed it.  I still have buddies all over the world who will text that to me after a session.

Fuck you Rob, and I mean that in the best possible way.