Training as a team makes a team stronger.
Training as a team makes a team stronger. Military culture is founded on the concept of working as a team. OSOK is founded on the concept of training as a team. It was created for deployed military with the intention of transferring ownership of the program to respective units through a train-the-trainers course. In order for a military unit to pursue OSOK’s original training program, it must first select and prepare a trainer or trainers for the rest of the group.
The trainers need to be the brain-and-nerve centers of a unit’s OSOK training program. He or she will first take a course in OSOK like the one presented here, which provides background information not necessarily needed (or wanted) by all line members. However, thorough understanding of the background, intent, and development of OSOK is necessary for a trainer to deliver—and customize—the training materials effectively. The trainer is also responsible for revisiting the HPRC website regularly to collect and incorporate new and improved information and procedures and then provide the rest of the unit with refresher courses.
How do you decide who in your unit should be your trainer? Your team should select your best performer—an elite warrior, i.e., the Gold Medalists—someone who would receive the highest scores in the self-assessment step described in “OSOK Solo.” (If you have not yet visited that section of the OSOK web pages, we recommend you do so before delving further into the trainer-targeted information.)
HPRC provides here the concepts and materials that enable a unit’s trainer(s) to customize the OSOK program and make it uniquely suitable for his or her own unit’s culture—not only the particular branch of the Uniformed Services, but the particular combat unit and deployed environment. What’s more, the trainer can make use of any other information provided on the HPRC website to bolster the OSOK materials to meet the needs of the unit.
The trainer then uses these customized materials initially in a seminar format (usually two days, but depends on line conditions) designed to fit into the unit’s down time, when everyone who wishes to participate can do so together. Essentially, OSOK is implemented for the Warfighter by the Warfighter.
Becoming an OSOK Trainer
Ideally, anyone who wishes to become an OSOK-IP Unit should attend the basic two-day seminar that they will be customizing and delivering to their own military team. If this is not possible, you should go through the OSOK Solo process prior to going any further. Once you have basic exposure to OSOK training, the additional information provided here for trainers-in-training will make sense.
The One Shot One Kill program is administered through a delivery system created specifically for OSOK—called OSOK-IP (“One Shot One Kill Integrative Program”). OSOK-IP is a culturally sensitive delivery system that can be customized to the unique framework of the warrior and his/her unit—a system that builds on and strengthens the cultural values and ideals unique to the warrior elitist to enhance individual performance and resiliency and improve mission effectiveness. OSOK-IP is a system created for the warrior elitist—by the warrior elitist. It is a unique delivery system that addresses the whole warrior and helps him/her reach and maintain his/her optimal level of performance. An overview of the OSOK-IP delivery system with integrative and relevant Warfighter examples able to be instantly applied on the line will be available soon to download. Please check back.
OSOK is designed to be sensitive towards warrior cultural values, practices, and traditions. If OSOK training is to succeed, an OSOK trainer must have been immersed in the culture of the military unit and must be able to adapt and customize the training materials that are provided here to suit their particular military unit’s unique needs.
Development of OSOK
The One Shot One Kill program was created “for Warfighters by Warfighters.” Almost all of the language and concepts used in the two-day OSOK seminar were built through feedback provided by Warfighters from a variety of Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) during the program’s pilot phase. As a result, a performance-focused program was born: “One Shot One Kill.”
The OSOK system was created to enhance warrior capabilities and keep Warfighters at the tip of the spear. Originally created by warriors on the line in Iraq during 2007, and refined by warriors in Afghanistan during 2010, OSOK has blossomed into a holistic (i.e., total fitness) platform to address the needs of the complete warrior.
The OSOK Platform
OSOK enables Warfighters to achieve enhanced performance and resilience by mastering a number of life systems. These systems, which might seem to function independently, actually depend on one another. To address them individually would result in minimal gains.
Mastery of each life system requires a broad range of psychological and physiological skills, many of which Warfighters already possess—learned through basic training and experience in theater. Warfighters will be guided in the use of these skills to increase their mastery in each life system. The interdependent life systems that make up the performance package include:
OSOK is also built on certain Key Assumptions:
Properly trained Warfighters who utilize their skills in broader life situations can improve their performance and become resilient. Warfighter training is in fact generalizable to other life circumstances.
Combat skills and activities are, in fact, athletic in nature. Warfighters can be observed training like world-class athletes. They fill our gyms, utilize supplements to boost recovery from intense workouts, and discuss everything with their trusted comrades—from the next day’s mission to the status of their marriage. Warfighters prepare and plan their activities much like an athlete prepares for their next event.
Characteristics of OSOK-IP
OSOK-IP has unique characteristics that include:
- Immersion of the program developer into the target population culture to facilitate acquisition of learning and establish credibility prior to platform refinement
- Sensitivity and respect towards warrior cultural values, practices, and traditions
- Involving population, to include commanders, in the creation of a product that addresses their specific units and missions
- Acknowledging that warriors already possess skill sets acquired through athletics and military training, which enable them to be resilient, but may lack the knowledge of their generalizability
- Strength-based focus due to cultural interpretations of weakness, failure, and shame
- Integrating and adapting of services to fit the cultural framework
- Group orientation and importance of building on cohesion and esprit de corps
- Use of language/vehicles consistent with culture (e.g. fitness, combatives, combat, shooting, etc.)
- Feedback of focus and pilot groups incorporated into curriculum to allow program evolution and effective authors to be “by the warrior…for the warrior”
- Targeting pre-existing skills acquired through athletics, combat, and specialized training
- Focusing on injury prevention to maintain optimal level of performance
- Interactive and entertaining format to capture the attention of a younger audience
Empowering target population to execute initiative by “taking care of their own” through shifting of traditional roles of participants (i.e., driven by line vs. driven by the medical community)
Key Features of OSOK-IP
The following are some Key Features of OSOK-IP:
- Line Driven: OSOK is a line-driven delivery system where traditional roles associated with helping agencies and line members have been exchanged. OSOK was created by and managed by warriors on the battlefront, with peripheral agencies (Mental Health, Nutritionists, Chaplain, Medical, etc.) providing consultative services by request and related to module content.
- Experiential: An important aspect of its delivery rests on members learning through experience. For instance: the necessity for performance-based nutrition becomes apparent as students engage in their normal dietary regimen prior to the Primal Fitness session. Warriors quickly learn through experience what meal plan best sustains the energy levels needed to survive the anaerobic load of combat.
- Holistic: Students are educated on OSOK’s interdependent format and its relationship to optimal performance and resilience—a concept reinforced through its experiential design and self-assessment tools. Its various modules are designed to be an “interdependent and synergistic package” and should not be separated; doing so would compromise its integrity.
- Generalizable: OSOK targets pre-existing skill sets acquired through participation in sports, athletics, and combat training. OSOK assists warriors in generalizing these skill sets to enhance job performance in garrison, augment combat effectiveness, reduce the impact of the combat environment on the warrior, and ultimately achieve their personal and professional goals in life.
- Challenging: For instance, the two-day training format of OSOK conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan incorporated functional fitness and stress-shoot exercises where students utilized learned strategies in practical environments. Each session was designed to mirror the rigors and demands of the combat environment. At each event, students utilized generalized skill sets to demonstrate their potential and ability to move beyond preconceived limits.
- Identification and Cultural Sensitivity: A unique identify is an important aspect of being a warrior; it separates them from the general service population. This identity is forged through their advanced training and collective practices. Although the underlying concepts of OSOK can be applied to the general service population, OSOK was tailored for specific units with content and references designed to be in-line with their unique culture and identity.
- Audience Specific: Module content was tailored to attract and gain acceptance from a target audience (e.g. 18-26 y/o, infantry, male, single) through the specific marketing strategies to include focus groups.
- Science-Based: Module content, although driven by the line, is based on the most up-to-date, peer-reviewed scientific information.
Mastery and Harmony
During basic training all warriors go through basic marksmanship courses—weapons familiarization, course orientation, and learning—many of the fundamentals before going out and firing. Some of these fundamentals include breathing, muscle control, focus, concentration, etc. For beginning shooters, sending the first round down range can be an awkward moment; but most improve with practice. Making a perfect shot, however, does not come from mastering one , two, or even three of these skill sets, but uniting all skills to a high level of mastery. This is what separates the “good” shooters from the “great” shooters. Great shooters have achieved a level of mastery and unity of each of these skill sets—they are aware of their interdependence….
Mastery of this system not only enhances a warrior’s PERFORMANCE across a wide range of competencies vital to combat, but also increases his/her RESILIENCE against illness and trauma by providing a protective barrier. Because of the interdependent format of OSOK-IP, a lack of mastery or degrading of any life systems will affect neighboring systems and compromise the entire network. The results would be a decline in performance followed by a vulnerability to illness or trauma.
How To Deliver OSOK
The step-by-step was created to help Warfighters on the line establish a culture of enhanced performance and resiliency within their own units. OSOK-IP provides an arsenal of evidence-based strategies as part of a holistic package that can easily be customized to fit the unique cultural framework of each unit and its members. Downloadable materials will be made available. Please check back soon.
- Length. A two-day format allows students the opportunity to be temporarily removed from their duties long enough to digest information presented, but still be able to have ample time to return to their unit and re-engage in their mission.
- Voluntary Attendance. Attendance is voluntary and attempts to separate OSOK from “check-in-the-box” programs designed to provide mandatory training to Warfighters.
- Tailored Format. As mentioned above, the OSOK program is not a “check-in-the-box” or “packaged” program; rather, it is the result of feedback and knowledge acquired from Warfighters and service members currently serving in Iraq. Although, the current version was created specifically for the Army and its soldiers, particularly those in combat roles, because of its fundamental properties it can be adopted by other military organizations with minor modifications to its module contents. Future efforts will focus on creating OSOK programs specifically for other branch services.
- Small Class Size. Small class sizes averaging 20-25 offer Warfighters an opportunity to learn from and teach one another through interaction and dialogue. In addition, the small size is less intimidating, and students are more willing to share their expertise and also admit their challenges.
- Location. OSOK was created to be a forward-driven program delivered at unit locations and out-of-the-clinic settings. Host units will ensure that selected locations are conducive to program format (e.g., audio, video, computer, projector, etc.) to include a large enough room to comfortably fit 20 – 25 Warfighters.
- Interactive Format. Interactive format allows Warfighters to engage module contents using personal examples. The instructor assists Warfighters in the processing of information and acts as a facilitator for discussions among Warfighters.
- Guided Instruction. Guided instruction and hands-on training is provided in the Controlled Response and Mind Tactics modules. Warfighters increase their awareness of psychological/physiological states and engage in controlled breathing and muscle tense-and-release exercises.
- Graphics, Animation, and Videos. The use of graphics, animation, and videos rather than traditional PowerPoint bullet format provides entertainment value and assists in the delivery of sometimes difficult-to-understand concepts related to lectures.
- Self-Assessment. Self-assessment tools follow the completion of each module and at the end of the seminar. The purpose of these tools is to increase the Warfighter’s awareness of those weakened systems in the performance package that may be contributing to a decrease in performance and resilience. The Warfighters will rate themselves individually on a scale from 0 (non-mastery) to 10 (mastery) and review the performance package diagram to identify areas to focus their resources.
- Unit Involvement. Unit participation and support play a very important part in the program. A prerequisite for Warfighter attendance is that their command staff receive an introductory presentation outlining the OSOK program. The purpose of this orientation is to educate command staff of the nature and content of the program and to solicit feedback as to the appropriateness of the content related to their unit mission and personnel. Because of the nature of the OSOK program, lecture content and delivery can be modified to relate to unit characteristics.
- Critique and Feedback. At the completion of the seminar Warfighters are asked to complete an evaluation and feedback form. This offers the Warfighter an opportunity to provide feedback and recommendations regarding program content and delivery.
- Future Follow-up. Future programming will assess participants in the short term (within six months) and the long term (one year) to assess the impact of OSOK programming and skill relevance.
OSOK-IP components are designed be an “interdependent and synergistic package” and should not be separated; doing so compromises the integrity of the program. The module content provided here as an example was derived from one designed for the “Sky Soldier” – however, all module content can be tailored for each Warfighter unit’s unique needs. The is available for download, as is a PDF of the slides with presentation notes. However, the slides include animation, including additional images, that cannot be translated to PDF, so we encourage you to view the slide show.
10 Rules of Engagement
The 10 Rules of Engagement (ROEs) were created to assist the warrior athlete in his or her quest to reach the optimal level of performance. It is very important for warriors to first review these ROEs as they develop and implement their own plan to ensure lasting success. The rules listed here are explained in full in the complete ROEs.
Rule #1: “Figure out where you’re at before you start”
Rule #2: “Don’t let your environment control you…take ownership”
Rule #3: “If it doesn’t work, stop doing it”
Rule #4: “Start small, go slowly, and be patient”
Rule #5: “Practice, practice, practice”
Rule #6: “Set up an environment that supports your new plan”
Rule #7: “Bring in the experts and educate yourself”
Rule #8: “Don’t get caught off guard…have a game plan”
Rule #9: “Write it down and review it daily”
Rule #10: “Be vigilant. Once you got it, don’t lose it”
OSOK training is organized in Seven Modules, plus an additional Marksmanship module, an example that uses the integrative principles from the Seven Modules. PowerPoint presentations are available here for each of these; all of them can be customized, as noted above.
- Controlled Response Module: assists Warfighters in modulating their body’s fight/flight response system, enabling them to maximize their internal resources when needed to accomplish greater physical feats. A variety of mind/body strategies are introduced and practiced. The CR module PowerPoint presentation is available for download, as is a PDF of the slides with presentation notes. However, the slides include animation that cannot be translated to PDF, so we encourage you to view the PowerPoint slide show initially.
- Mind Tactics Module: Warfighters examine the power of the mind through mental strategies. Skills used by professional athletes and the warrior elite are taught, enabling soldiers to reach their optimal level of performance on and off the battlefield. The Mind Tactics PowerPoint presentation is available for download, as is a PDF of the slides with presentation notes. However, the slides include animation that cannot be translated to PDF, so we encourage you to view the PowerPoint slide show initially.
- Performance Based Nutrition Module: examines the nutritional needs of the Warfighter in combat. In collaboration with USUHS, information provided assists attendees in maintaining a high level of performance through nutrition plans used by elite military units and athletes. The Nutrition PowerPoint presentation is available for download, as is a PDF of the slides with presentation notes. However, the slides include animation that cannot be translated to PDF, so we encourage you to view the PowerPoint slide show initially.
- Primal Fitness Module: teaches Warfighters how to maintain their optimal fitness level in and out of the combat environment. Inspired by high-intensity fitness principles, specific emphasis is placed on the importance of functional fitness, accomplished without the need of facilities, and the role of fitness in injury prevention. The PF module is split into two basic presentations: The first section is on the relationship between Primal Fitness & PB Nutrition, with both PowerPoint and PDF versions available for download. The second section, Primal Fitness, is available in three PowerPoint files (due to its size) and a single PDF for download. Click (1) here to download the first PowerPoint, (2) here for the second, and (3) here for the third.
- Purpose Module: reminds Warfighters of the external factors that they can draw strength from in difficult times (e.g., core values, spirituality, country, fellow Warfighters, etc.). Encouraging a commitment to something greater than themselves in the face of adversity, the Purpose module is envisioned as a primer of courage that will enable Warfighters to perform heroic feats in the face of overwhelming odds. The Purpose PowerPoint presentation is available for download, as is a PDF of the slides with presentation notes. However, the slides include animation that cannot be translated to PDF, so we encourage you to view the PowerPoint slide show initially.
- The Code Module: reminds warriors “who we are” by examining their value-based system and supporting their cultural framework. The Code is a system that lays the foundation for their unique way of life and acts as a compass to guide morality, ethics, and everyday decision-making. A system can only exist through and within the support of its cultural framework. As a result, the importance and maintenance of the warrior cultural framework are emphasized. Concepts of Bushido and the Samurai Warrior and concepts borrowed from the Spartans complement existing material. This module is currently under development. Once it is revised, we will make it available to you.
- Recharge Module: targets disrupted sleep patterns associated with the combat environment and increased operations tempo. Focus is on empowering Warfighters to improve sleep patterns through education and alteration of common disruptive behaviors while emphasizing healthy habits and avoiding the use of medication. The Recharge PowerPoint presentation is available for download, as is a PDF of the slides with presentation notes. However, the slides include animation that cannot be translated to PDF, so we encourage you to view the PowerPoint slide show initially.
- Fundamental Marksmanship Skills: Warfighters possess fundamental marksmanship skills learned in boot camp that, when generalized, can be used effectively to enhance their performance and resilience in many other parts of their lives. These skills can assist them in reaching their personal and professional goals, while testing their ability to integrate the Seven Modules. The Range Session PowerPoint presentation is available for download, as is a PDF of the slides with presentation notes. However, the slides include animation that cannot be translated to PDF, so we encourage you to view the PowerPoint slide show initially.
Module Mastery Assessment (MMA) “Get it in the black”
OSOK-IP includes a targeting system that enables Warfighters to track and monitor their level of performance. Following the completion of each module, you will ask your students to answer a number of questions and plot their “shots” on the corresponding module target sheet. After they complete all of the module target sheets, their shot groups can be analyzed and their current levels of performance will be assessed. This will give them an idea of which shot (i.e., module/life system) they need to focus on first. This shot score will act as a compass at any time for keeping them at the peak level of performance: it will pinpoint systems that become compromised and need attention. Click here for the downloadable Module Mastery Assessment PDF document.
Handbook and Evaluations
Students should use the OSOK Handbook [click here for the downloadable Handbook] to follow along in the program as well as self-assess consistently. The purpose of these tools is to increase Warfighters’ awareness of their areas of strength and those areas that need some focused attention in order to optimize performance. As all elite performers know, self evaluation is crucial to any performance program, so the module and course target sheets (Module Mastery Assessments) mentioned above should be used repeatedly for re-assessment as students revisit the modules to track their progress. Additional forms can be obtained by downloading the MMA PDF file linked above.
At the completion of the seminar, Warfighters are asked to complete an evaluation and feedback form. This offers the Warfighter an opportunity to provide feedback and recommendations regarding program content and delivery. The course and module evaluation forms are provided in PDF form and can be downloaded here.