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On Combat -- The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace
by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman with Loren W. Christensen
© 2008
(Warrior Science Publications)
All rights reserved.
[Answer 25 of 35 questions correctly to receive
20 hours of Continuing Education credit]

Section One -- The Physiology of Combat: The Anatomy of the Human Body in Battle
Chapter One --  Combat: The Universal Human Phobia (p. 2-7)

1. The number one universal human phobia is
a. snakes.
b. public speaking.
c. failure.
d. interpersonal human aggression.

Chapter Two -- The Harsh Reality of Combat: What You Don’t Hear at the VFW (p. 8-13)
2. Which statement is NOT true?
a. It is a perfectly natural human response to lose bladder and bowel control during interpersonal aggression.
b. Most survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York lost bowel and bladder control.
c. During World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, more American soldiers suffered from psychiatric wounds than were killed in battle.
d. Soldiers who fought at the 6-month long battle of Stalingrad in WWII had about the same life-span as other Russian soldiers who fought elsewhere.

Chapter Three -- Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System: The Body’s Combat and Maintenance Troops (p. 14-29)
3. Which of the following is NOT good advice?
a. The best way to burn off extra adrenalin is through physical exercise.
b. After fighting a battle (or arresting a suspect), a soldier (or police officer) should engage in tasks that keep him or her alert and occupied, like drinking lots of water and checking their equipment.
c. Everyone should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night.
d. You can have as many servings of caffeine during the day as you would like without negative side effects.

Chapter Four -- Fear, Physiological Arousal and Performance: Conditions White, Yellow, Red, Gray, and Black (p. 30-40)
4. Three of these are synonyms (words which have similar meanings. Which answer is not like the others?
a. muscle memory
b. autopilot
c. parasympathetic backlash
d. stress inoculation

5. If a police officer’s heart rate reaches 145bpm in a tense situation, and his gun is drawn, he is in danger of experiencing bilateral symmetry where his gun hand convulsively tightens into a fist and accidentally discharges his weapon. What is the best safeguard against this accidental discharge?
a. Keep his finger off the trigger.
b. Use tactical breathing to lower his heart rate.
c. Keep the gun pointed in the air.
d. Hold his gun at low port position, angled downward.

6. Which is NOT true?
a. The more frightened and angry a person is, the less rational he is. To connect with him, you must first calm him down.
b. There is no difference between the performance impact of a heart rate increase caused by fear and a heart rate increase caused by physical exercise.
c. Every family member, including children, should practice dialing 9-1-1, so if a real emergency occurs, their fingers will know what to do even when their accelerated heart rate results in a loss of near vision.
d. At a heart rate of 175bpm, the average person experiences vasoconstriction (reduced bleeding from wounds), tunnel vision (loss of peripheral vision), loss of depth perception (threats look closer), loss of near vision, and auditory exclusion.

Section Two -- Perceptual Distortions in Combat: An Altered State of Consciousness
Chapter One -- The Eyes and the Ears: Auditory Exclusion, Intensified Sound, and Tunnel Vision (p. 54-73)

7. What is the author’s Bigger Bang Theory?
a. Whoever brings the bigger weapon to the gunfight will have the greatest psychological advantage over their opponent.
b. The larger the weapon, the more likely the opponent will tune out the deafening sound.
c. The sound a weapon makes really doesn’t matter since most people in a gun fight can’t hear it due to auditory exclusion.
d. The cortex of one’s brain tends to screen out awareness of what is not necessary in a dangerous situation.

8. During a deadly force encounter, what are police officers trained to do that could give them a momentary advantage over a potential shooter who is experiencing his own tunnel vision?
a. quickly sidestep to the left or right.
b. drop back a few feet.
c. get down on one knee.
d. lie down on the floor.

Chapter Two -- Autopilot: “You Honestly Don’t Know You’re Doing It (p. 74-93)
9. Considering that “Whatever is drilled in during training comes out the other end in combat,” what is the most effective way to range-train police officers to deal with deadly force?
a. Shoot at blank, man-shaped silhouettes.
b. Fire two shots into a target, then re-holster the weapon while the target is still standing.
c. Shoot at a life-size photo target of a man holding a gun until it collapses.
d. Fire six shots into a target, empty their spent shells into their hands, place the brass into their pockets, reload, and then continue shooting if the target is still standing.

      During World War II, only 15 to 20 percent of riflemen fired their weapons at an exposed enemy soldier. Twenty years later in Vietnam the firing rate increased to 95%. Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall’s research helped change soldier training from shooting at bull’s eye targets to realistic combat situations. (p. 78-79)

10. Which is NOT true?
a. Violent video games promote violent behavior by conditioning children to shoot at lifelike characters.
b. Children who play violent video games argue with teachers more frequently, don’t perform as well in school, and get into more physical fights.
c. There is no other way to stop a juvenile mass murderer from shooting his classmates other than to shoot him.
d. Video games can teach marksmanship skills.

Chapter Three -- A Grab Bag of Effects: Visual Clarity, Slow Motion Time, Temporary Paralysis, Dissociation and Intrusive Thoughts (p. 94-99)
11. If a police officer has an “out of the body” experience while firing his weapon at an assailant, as though he is watching the incident take place from above, he is experiencing
a. visual clarity.
b. slow-motion time.
c. temporary paralysis.
d. dissociation.

Chapter Four -- Memory Loss, Memory Distortions, and the Role of Videotaping: You Are Absolutely Convinced It Happened (p. 100-111)
12. Officers involved in a deadly force encounter tend to have the best recall ___ after the occurrence.
a. 1 hour
b. 24 hours
c. 48 hours
d. 72 to 100 hours

Chapter Five -- The Klinger Study: A Parallel Study in Perceptual Distortions (p. 112-122)
13. What new findings does the Klinger Study add to the existing research about sensory distortions in combat?
a. It measures distortions of vision during a shooting occurrence.
b. It explores what officers thought and felt before, during, and after their shootings.
c. It measures distortions of sound and hearing during a shooting occurrence.
d. It measures distortions of distance and depth perception during a shooting occurrence.

Section Three -- The Call to Combat: Where Do We Get Such Men?
Chapter One -- Killing Machines: The Impact of a Handful of True Warriors (p. 124-131)

14. This chapter is about
a. people who like killing other people.
b. the absence of fear in combat.
c. the difference a true warrior can make in combat.
d. the importance of military warriors, not peacetime warriors.

15. According to Ken Murray’s philosophy of reality based training in which warriors must be provided with 5 decisive engagements, what must trainers never do?
a. Trainers must never allow a student to stop after getting “shot”. The student must continue the scenario until the suspect is engaged and assistance has been called for.
b. Trainers must never stop a scenario after a student fails.
c. Trainers must never talk about their students’ failures in public.
d. all of the above.

Chapter Three -- Sucking Up Bullets and Continuing to Fight: You’ve Never Lived Until You’ve Almost Died (p. 138-157)
16. What is the author’s conclusion about these two very different warrior attitudes toward war: (1) looking forward to it, and (2) getting it over with?
a. Anyone who looks forward to war is a sick, violent individual.
b. Anyone who just wants to be done with the war is either lazy, unpatriotic, or a coward.
c. Both attitudes are perfectly healthy and appropriate responses.
d. It is better to want to get over with war than to look forward to it.

17. Which is NOT true?
a. Even though the most common version of the universal nightmare is dreaming that he cannot get his gun to fire, there is nothing a warrior can do to make these dreams go away.
b. The most effective way to stop an armed opponent is to fire a bullet into his central nervous system.
c. A police officer who accepts ahead of time the possibility of having to kill his opponent is less likely to have to do it, because the opponent will see in the police officer’s eyes his determination to kill him if necessary.
d. The suspect ultimately decides how much deadly force the warrior has to use.

Chapter Four --Making the Decision to Kill: “I killed Someone, But Someone Lived” (p. 158-175)
18. As a qualification for potential police officers who must be mentally prepared to take a human life, what is the correct answer to this scenario?
“You’re a law enforcement officer. You’re trained, equipped, and on foot patrol. You come around a corner and find in front of you a chain link fence, topped with barbwire, extending as far as you can see to the left and right. Just on the other side of the chain link fence is a law enforcement officer lying helpless on the ground as a man kicks him repeatedly in the head. What do you do?”
a. Call for a helicopter.
b. Try to get over the barbwire somehow.
c. Try to go under the fence.
d. Pull your weapon, order the man to stop, and shoot him if he does not.

19. In response to killing an opponent, the author describes a typical 3-step process: the exhilaration stage (an immediate joy that your enemy is killed and you and others are alive), a backlash of remorse and nausea stage (perhaps vomiting after your first kill), and a lifelong stage of rationalization and nausea. How does the author explain why some veterans don’t have remorse and nausea after they have killed an opponent?
a. They are part of a rare breed of law enforcement officers who actually enjoy killing bad guys.
b. They were mature warriors who had resolved the issue in their minds ahead of time of having to kill an opponent if necessary.
c. Because of their own individual psychological makeup, they are unable to grieve appropriately.
d. They just have to wait longer. Eventually, the remorse and nausea will come

Warriors do not fight for medals, they do it for their partners, buddies, and friends. (p. 171)

Chapter Five -- Modern Paladins Bearing the Shield: “Go Tell the Spartans…” (p. 176-195)
20. The author defines “warriors” as “those who are willing to sacrifice themselves to defend others, those who move toward the sound of guns, and those who continue in the face of adversity to do what needs to be done.” A warrior is also a sheepdog. Which is TRUE about sheepdogs and sheep?
a. Sheepdogs have the gift of aggression to protect the sheep.
b. Sheepdogs are morally superior to the sheep.
c. Sheep generally like the sheepdog and don’t feel uncomfortable around them.
d. Most sheep can survive without sheepdogs.

21. The best model for the modern day warrior is
a. a samurai warrior.
b. an Olympic athlete.
c. a knight of old.
d. the Roman soldier.

Chapter Six -- The Evolution of Combat: The Physical and Psychological Leverage that Enables Killing in War and Peace (p. 196-223)
22. During the invasion phase of the Iraq War, Captain Zan Hornbuckle, a 29-year old Army officer from Georgia, found himself and his 80 men surrounded by 300 Iraqi and Syrian fighters. Unable to obtain air or artillery support, Captain Hornbuckle and his unit -- who were never before in combat -- fought for eight hours. When the smoke cleared, 200 of the enemy were dead…not a single American was killed. 
The author attributes the success of this battle to
a. the use of combat stress inoculation through force-on-force paint bullet training which significantly increases each soldier’s firing rate and hit rate.
b. the greater posturing effect of the louder U.S. weapons over the enemy weapons.
c. the skillful use of mobility in out-flanking the enemy.
d. the superior weaponry of the U.S. soldiers which allowed then to kill more of the enemy from a greater distance, therefore reducing their resistance to kill.

Chapter Seven -- The Evolution of Combat and Domestic Violence Crime (p. 224-259)
23. Since 1957, the U.S. per capita aggravated assault rate (which is, essentially, the rate of attempted murder) has gone up nearly fivefold, while the per capita murder rate has less than doubled. The reason for this disparity is
a. the vast progress in medical technology to save lives.
b. the quicker response times of law enforcement personnel to the scene of an aggravated assault.
c. greater restrictions on hand guns.
d. a greater number of plea-bargains to a lesser charge than murder.

       Television, movie and video game violence teaches kids to kill by using the same mechanism of
classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social learning that is employed by modern soldiers,
but without the safeguards of discipline and character development. -- p. 229


       Veterans from World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War were less likely to be incarcerated than non-veterans of the same age and sex…The idea of shooting in the wrong
direction or at the wrong time is beyond comprehension in the minds of a trained warrior.
That is the discipline by which the warrior lives. That is the safeguard.-- p. 229, 230

24. Which is NOT true about the FBI profile of school shooters?
a. None of the school shooters was in varsity sports or had trained extensively in martial arts.
b. None was a competitive shooter, had a hunting license, or had been an avid paintball player.
c. All of them were infatuated with media violence.
d. Most of the shooters were on anti-depressants during their killing sprees.

25. The Stanford Study concluded that
a. most children exposed to media violence do not become violent.
b. most children exposed to media violence become depressed and fearful.
c. children who decrease their watching television and playing video games decrease in physical and verbal aggression.
d. parents should regulate their children’s exposure to television and video games violence.

26. The brain scan research conducted by the Indiana University Medical Department showed that normal teenagers with a high amount of exposure to media violence had reduced activity in the logical part of the brain similar to teens with disruptive behavior disorder. As a result of these findings, which does the author NOT advise?
a. Provide a media-free zone in your child’s bedroom -- no TV, video games, computer games, or DVD player.
b. Don’t let your children play violent video games. Check with for reviews of video games.
c. Children can watch television before going to school. There are no violent programs on at that time.
d. Don’t let a child under the age of 17 go to an “R” rated movie.

Section Four -- The Price of Combat: After the Smoke Clears
Chapter One -- Relief, Self-Blame and Other Emotions: “My World Was Turned Inside Out.” (p. 264-271)

27. The first response of most warriors upon seeing sudden, violent death is
a. relief that it did not happen to them.
b. to blame themselves.
c. to tell a fellow warrior what happened.
d. to go home and hug their loved ones.

Chapter Two -- Stress, Uncertainty, and the Four F’s: “Forewarned is Forearmed” (p. 272-277)
28. The best way to manage stress is
a. by taking daily vitamins, especially B complex.
b. through daily, vigorous physical exercise.
c. by getting 7-8 hours sleep each night.
d. by practicing self-control of one’s anger.

Chapter Three -- PTSD: RE-experiencing the Event, and Fleeing from the Puppy (p. 278-301)
29. Which is NOT true about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
a. If a police officer is involved in a deadly shooting, he or she could possibly prevent PTSD by using tactical breathing to keep his or her heart rate below 175bpm.
b. If the police officer above does experience PTSD, it would be helpful for him or her to get some gun range time, some FATS time (Fire Arms Training Simulator), and paint bullet force-on-force training.
c. Most PTSD is like being a little overweight or having the flu: it’s uncomfortable but not life-threatening, and once you get through it you will be stronger afterwards.
d. EMDR has been proven to be ineffective for PTSD (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

Chapter Four -- A Time to Heal: The Role of Critical Incident Debriefing in PTSD (p. 302-321)
30. Up until the 20th century, warriors almost always took the nights off, allowing them to debrief around the campfire, to divide the pain and multiply the joy, to mourn fallen comrades and to control their emotions over the memory of that day’s battle. Which 20th century warrior, however, was still able to debrief in this traditional fashion?
a. the infantry rifleman
b. the fighter pilot
c. an artillery crew member
d. a medical officer

Chapter Five -- Tactical Breathing and the Mechanics of the Debriefings: Separating the Memory from the Emotions (p. 322-339)
31. Which is NOT true?
a. Immediately after a deadly force encounter, it is normal for a warrior to experience any of the following: trembling, sweating, chills, nausea, hyperventilation, dizziness, thirstiness, an urge to urinate, diarrhea, upset stomach, and jumpiness.
b. It is appropriate to ask warriors who don’t think they need debriefing if they would be willing to do it to help their friends, partners, and families.
c. A powerful technique for delinking the memory of a traumatic event from the sympathetic nervous system is tactical breathing.
d. After a deadly force encounter, tactical breathing will help you lower your heart rate, but it won’t improve your memory of what happened.

Chapter Six -- What to Say to a Returning Veteran, and What to Say to a Survivor (p. 340-349)
32. What should never be said to a returning war veteran?
a. “What was your experience like?”
b. “You did the right thing. I’m proud of you.”
c. “Did you kill anyone?”
d. “Thank you. You did a great job!”

33. If your close friend has just experienced a traumatic event, what should you NOT do?
a. Say, “I’m just glad you are okay.”
b. Ask, “Is there anything I can do to help you and your family?”
c. Take your friend out for a couple of beers.
d. Accept your friend’s initial reaction to the trauma as normal for him and avoid suggesting how he should be feeling.

Chapter Seven -- Thou Shalt Not Kill?: The Judeo/Christian View of Killing (p. 351-355)
34. The author believes which is the single most important Bible chapter and verse for a warrior?
a. I Samuel 18:7 “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
b. John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man [or woman] than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
c. Luke 22:36 “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”
d. Romans 13:4 “For he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Chapter Eight -- Survivor Guilt: Life Not Death and Justice Not Vengeance (p. 356-365)

(The bond of love between warriors)

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhood cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

--King Henry V (Shakespeare) -- (p. 356-357)

35. The author makes a clear distinction between justice (shooting an armed opponent) and vengeance (shooting an opponent who has surrendered). What will help prevent warriors from committing an act of vengeance?
a. Make the decision ahead of time never to commit vengeance.
b. Learn from other warriors who committed atrocities and see how much life-long guilt they have carried.
c. Think about how the PTSD from committing atrocities will harm your spouse and children.
d. all of the above.