Michael Yon’s Observations On The Fighting In Kenosha, WI

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 10 months ago

Michael Yon patreon page.

More Shootouts, and some Advice on firefights — this one just happened: Multiple casualties and a couple fatalities

Pro-tip: I’ve been in the middle of or very close to hundreds of firefights. Mostly Iraq, Afghanistan, Thailand. Hong Kong was mostly rubber bullets, teargas, that sort of thing. Not full on firefights like Thailand and the wars.

I will say this: beware of these little shootouts. They often start very small like this with just a few casualties and a few shots.

Then…right when you think it’s over…that’s when it explodes.

Often they go something like this:

1) Sniper shoots someone. Lots of people return fire, or not, and firefight is over.

2) Light contact, potshots. A few dozen or few hundred rounds are fired. All finished in a few minutes, or in any case the contact is very light even if it goes for hours in running battles.

3) A situation like this one: light contact. A few casualties. Done.

ALTERNATE ENDING: Light contact, zero or a few casualties, and there is a lull, or nothing else happens and it’s over, OR — it takes time for everyone who wants to fight to get into position and start trigger time. So you can get this bang bang bang bang…and then thirty seconds or even minutues of quiet, and then shit hits the fan.

Folks who followed my years in Iraq and Afghanistan, and others in Thailand, will remember many such firefights. Light contact. Quiet. Huge firefight starts.

[ … ]

Stay calm. Practice in advance in your head how you will be calm. You hear all these people screaming like they are on fire. They are not helping just being panick monkeys.

Beware of speeding vehicles during firefights.  Get off the roads, and beware of sidewalks.  Saw this often in Iraq and Thailand.

If you are going to combat like this, you MUST bring tourniquets and learn to use them. I used to have four tourniquets sewed into my ‘uniforms,’ and I carried others. In other words, there were already tourniquets on my arms and legs and all I had to do was tighten.

You will bleed out super fast with some wounds even to the leg. Ambulances are not going to rush into a firefight. When you have a real Black Hawk Down, ain’t gonna be no back up. You are it.

As we steam deeper into insurgency, events like this will become too many to count.  The dark white noise of war.

There are many videos of the attack.  I watched about fifteen.  https://twitter.com/Michael_Yon/status/1298500370268749825

Michael brings a wealth of knowledge on this subject.

As for tourniquets, everybody who knows anything recommends a good med kit.  I don’t have one and need one, including good tourniquets.


  1. On August 26, 2020 at 10:07 pm, 41mag said:

    Would appreciate some responses on good tourniquets to purchase. The marketplace is flooded with vet-owned companies touting their wares, and rather than be subjected to their marketing, Mr. Yon seems to have experience to draw from.

    Thanks in advance

  2. On August 27, 2020 at 12:30 am, ROFuher said:

    RATs, carries small, and will work on kids.


  3. On August 27, 2020 at 3:57 am, Nosmo said:

    If I may, on tourniquets: Avoid Amazon; prices are good, but there are so many counterfeit tourniquets on the market there’s no way to know if you’re getting a genuine one or a fake. I get mine from North American Rescue in Greer, SC. Couple bucks more than “Discount Donny’s” but I know I’m getting the real thing.

    Brands: CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet) and SOFTT-T and SOFTT-W (Special Operatons Forces Tactical Tourniquet and W indicates the same tourniquet in “wide” format which is 1 1/2″ wide, the standard SOFTT-T is 1″ wide). The CAT uses velcro and because of the design is easier to install on a injured limb – it’s an “open” style, can be stretched out like a belt and wrapped around, then secured with the velcro. The SOFTT is a closed loop.

    The only complant I’ve heard about either is the velcro on the CAT may collect dirt, plant material and mud in field use and have the security of the velcro bond reduced as a result. I’ve never seen that, or heard a direct first person witness account of it happening, but it is possible.

    Both use a windlass to tension; the locking procedure is slightly different between the two, but both are very effective. The CAT is available in a blue trainer version, the SOFTT-T is available in safety orange.

    When you buy a tourniquet, buy at least one more then you think you’ll ever need and use that one for training. Practice installing it, on a victim’s leg, victim’s arm, your leg, your arm. Practice self-installing it one-handed. Practice it a LOT.

    A tourniquet has to be tight to work. A lot tighter than you think it needs to be. To effectively stop blood flow it will have to be PAINFULLY tight. Durign training everyone gets the experience, and a person with medical training will use a stethoscope to listen for pulse sounds on the limb below the tourniquet – if he or she can still hear a pulse the blood loss isn’t stopped because the tourniquet is not tight enough.

    Sometimes you may have to use a second tourniquet on the same limb to ensure blood loss is stopped. Practice that. A LOT (it’s also very useful to HAVE that second tourniquet, so don’t carry just one). There are various pouches, carriers, etc. available for carrying tourniquets and additional bleeding control tools), find one that works best for you.

    Pro Tip: Research “Stop The Bleed Class.” Find one locally. Take it. Study the material and practice the techniques. After studying and practicing for a few months, take the class again as a refresher. You will see things you didn’t notice the first time. Get the people around you trained, too. Consider what your spouse will have to live with when he or she can only stand there and watch you – or one of your children – bleed out because he or she doesn’t have the training to deal with it.

    Pro Tip: Take a class on CPR and AED use (Automatic Electronic Defibrillator) and keep your certification current (every 2 years).
    Question: What is the most common cause of death at gun ranges? Nope, it’s heart attacks. If you teach classes, consider buying your own AED (about $1K, but it’s a deductible expense, and so is the trauma kit you have at the class, and BTW, neither should be farther than 6-8 steps away at any moment during the class), at the very least make sure the range or club has one and you know where it is.

    Carry the tourniquets on your body. A femoral artery puncture is 2 minutes to dead. Having it in your car doesn’t help; if it takes you 30 seconds to run to your car and 30 seconds to run back you just spent half of the rest of the victim’s life. It’s not necessary to lose all 5 quarts of blood to die – a little over half will do it; when there’s not enough blood to pump to maintain pressure and flow the heart will likely go into fibrillation as it tries to raise pressure and fow, and fibrillation is not an effective way to pump blood. At the least, enough pressure drop will cause damage to some organs, especially the brain.

    There’s other stuff that’s valuable to have – chest seals, hemostatic gauze, nitrile gloves, a pressure bandage (often call “an Israeli bandage”) a headlamp (it’s dark at night….). You can build your own kit or buy a ready-to-go one with quality materials from a reputable source.

    The most important thing, however, is knowledge – the training and practice. You need the tools, but you need to know how to use the tools.

  4. On August 27, 2020 at 8:50 am, Lord T said:

    Guys, thanks for this advice. I’ve tourniquets in my med kits but they are in the car and house. Also I’ve never practised putting one on myself. Funny that. I am ready to treat others but not myself. A hole in my plans there.

    Was interested in having them pre placed and ready to pull. I’d never heard that before. Do you just attach them well in one place or do you have something like belt loops?

    Good post and comments.

  5. On August 27, 2020 at 8:57 am, Herschel Smith said:

    I’ll try to do a little research on this. John Lovell has a good review of an ankle mounted med kit. Mike Glover has some stuff on med kits as well.

  6. On August 27, 2020 at 9:31 am, jack said:

    @herschel My friend Monty Edge here in the Triangle area of NC runs Active Threat Solutions (https://www.activethreatgear.com/) and can supply you with the requisite medical gear – and training. He also runs Every Day Ready (http://every-day-ready.com/) training.

    Monty has trained me on TQ application using a medical dummy and fake blood. You’d be amazed at how hard it is to cinch a TQ to the point bleeding stops when your hands are hot, sweaty, and covered blood. I’ll be doing more medical and firearms training with Monty in the next few months.

    In addition to the CAT and SOF-T, Monty recommends the STAT tourniquet which is like a wide flat zip-tie. Very easy to apply and get tight, and works equally well on large and small humans (children) and animals.

    All of his gear is top-notch – this is not an area to skimp.

  7. On August 27, 2020 at 9:33 am, Bill Sullivan said:

    On med kits, check out SOLATAC. The guy is an oil company medic, working in the Gulf of Mexico. Good stuff, and practical advice with it. He’s in Louisiana.

  8. On August 27, 2020 at 3:31 pm, k said:

    ‘arm wound’ guy was lucky, from looking at the wound pictures, that shot must have come very close to taking out his bracial artery, I assume if it had, he would have leaked all over the street and would have been fatality #3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachial_artery#/media/File:Gray526.png

  9. On August 28, 2020 at 5:43 pm, teslawasframed said:

    Dark Angel Medical makes good kits, and they’re having a 20% off sale. They use SOFTT-W’s and Gen 7 CAT’s. Also, if you use your kit to save a life, they replace whatever components you use for free.

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This article is filed under the category(s) War & Warfare and was published August 26th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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