CONTACT WITH VIOLENCE (WHAT THE PROFESSIONALS KNOW)

Greg Shaffer is the president of Shaffer Security Group, a security consulting and risk management firm located in Irving, Texas. Greg is also author of the soon to be released (Spring 2019) book, “Stay Safe”. Greg and his team have also partnered with Consolidated Training Group and provide basic, intermediate, and advanced defensive firearm classes to both civilians and law enforcement. Greg is recognized as a leading expert on active shooter and domestic terrorism matters. He can frequently be found on Fox News and other national media outlets. He spent twenty years in the FBI, including six on the famed FBI Hostage Rescue Team. Shaffer has operated in the United States, Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Yemen, and a number of other foreign countries. As such, Greg Shaffer has seen things few concealed carriers have seen (or ever want to see) when it comes to interacting with incredibly violent persons who in some cases are willing to fight to their death.

Greg estimates that perhaps 2.5% of the world’s population possesses serious antisocial or psychotic qualities. To put that in perspective, that would apply to roughly 7,500,000 persons in the United States alone. Within that group exists persons who will not flee, break contact, or cease murderous actions in the face of strong resistance. They are quite often unimpressed with the fact that they have just gotten shot, and even when fatally wounded are willing to continue the fight until blood loss renders them incapable of fighting further. Such actions can be hugely unnerving to the intended victim to the point that they become mentally unable to fight back effectively.

I asked Greg what advice he had for the concealed carrier. His response was simple enough. Take a defensive firearms class from a qualified instructor, dry-fire practice so as to ingrain good gunhandling skills, and shoot at least 500 rounds every three months. He stated emphatically that the concealed carrier would be best served if they can make a head shot at 15 feet on demand, from the concealed position, in under 3.0 seconds. Shaffer said that the concealed carrier should be capable of meeting those standards at a minimum, otherwise the chances of missing and endangering innocent third-parties is unacceptably high. The reader should note that the mission of many special operation groups includes hostage rescue where head shots are critical for multiple reasons. The same does not necessarily apply to the concealed carrier, but the benefit of being able to hit a 4” by 4” target on demand at the length of a car is obvious.

Greg Shaffer believes that pre-event visualization and de-sensitization is as critical as competent gunhandling and marksmanship skills.  The concealed carrier should visualize what an attack might look like based upon the way they go about their lives. Envision being approached by an armed carjacker from both the driver’s and passenger’s side. Visualize being accosted while getting in and out of your vehicle, and while walking to and from a store after parking. How might you be approached at a gas station? What would you do if one or more questionable person moves to intercept you and starts pleading for money? What would you do if an approaching person starts pulling a concealed handgun from their waistband or out of a hoodie pocket? I can attest that it is much more difficult to go with the body where the mind has not gone.

Finally, Greg recommends pre-fight de-sensitization. This may be difficult (but necessary) for the concealed carrier when it comes to preparing for the day they wanted to avoid. Concealed carriers who may find themselves enmeshed in a legal battle where doing the right thing may be viewed by others as an opportunity to make a political statement, obtain votes, or make money, thinking about what may follow using force (especially deadly force) for defensive purposes is probably a very good idea. Can you do it? If not, maybe concealed carry is not right for you. Consider the physical damage that handgun rounds can cause to the human body, the strong likelihood that multiple lives will be affected in the event someone dies, and be prepared for the fact that seldom does real life resemble what we see on television or the movies. We should probably ask ourselves the following question every single day: Are we prepared, are we willing, are we aware, and are we skilled? If the answer is yes, then embrace life and have a good day!

Credit:
Original Author: Steve Moses
Original Post: CCWSAFE

The OODA Loop & the Gift of Fear (?)

The OODA Loop:

Wikipedia – not my usual source for information, defines the OODA Loop as an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. Developed by military strategist and U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd.  Boyd first applied the concept to aerial combat (Dog Fighting). His approach favors agility over raw power when dealing with human opponents in any endeavor.

What is the OODA Loop?  It is the action of an individual who can process this cycle quickly. Observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than their opponent. Thereby,  “getting inside” the opponent’s decision cycle and gain the advantage!

The courses at Shaffer Security Group (SSG) utilize this decision cycle in every instruction.  We teach you to survive by continually re-setting your opponents OODA Loop.

The Gift of Fear:

In addition to the OODA Loop, SSG also teaches the importance of listening to your ‘Inner Voice’.  Your Gut Instinct!  In his award-winning and best selling book, The Gift of Fear, author Gavin DeBecker interviews survivors of very violent crimes. He found almost 100% of those victims had a ‘bad feeling’ or a ‘gut instinct’ that warned them something horrible was about to happen.  Most people dismiss or rationalize this feeling.  At SSG, we teach you to listen to your “Gift of Fear”.

Having the skill to ‘re-set’ your opponents OODA loop while understanding the need to listen to your “inner voice” is critical to survive any high-threat confrontation.  We teach all our clients to trust their gut.  As detailed in the book, your “gift of fear” is always based on external stimuli.  You may or may not be able to articulate why you feel it, but it is based on something your subconscious saw or heard and it always has your best interest.

These concepts have been used hundreds of times by Dutch, Brian and Greg.  Understanding the OODA Loop process and listening to their “gut instinct” has allowed them to  survive many dangerous situations and armed encounters.

The Real World

SSG prides itself on our ability to teach using real-world examples of survival and security.  Our referrals from Fortune 1000’s, not-for-profits, NGO’s, law firms, schools and other clients who have taken our courses are our best form of marketing.  Don’t wait until your company, firm, business or employee to become a victim.  Contact Shaffer Security Group to develop a strategic security plan to protect you both physically and legally.

The Shaffer Security Group (SSG) is a fully licensed Security Consulting and Risk Assessment firm specializing in developing security, intelligence and training solutions designed to protect your business or firm. 

We will work with your Legal, Human Resources and Security personnel to develop strategic plans to keep your business and employees safe using:

  • Active Shooter Response plans,
  • Situational Awareness Training;
  • Travel Security Threat Assessments;
  • Executive Protection;
  • Internal Investigations and Special Event Security Planning. 
  • SSG also has a 178-acres Tactical Firearms Training Facility.

SSG Instruction:

  • Tactical Firearms Training
  • Force-on-Force (non-lethal marking rounds) scenario-based training
  • Executive Protection or Personal Security Detail training

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OODA Loop By Patrick Edwin Moran

OODA Loop By Patrick Edwin Moran

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Risk & Threat Assessment and let us develop a strategic security plan utilizing security, intelligence & training solutions to ensure the safety and security of your business.

Preventing Work Place Violence

Preventing Workplace Violence:

Shaffer Security Group (SSG) will work with your Legal Department, Human Resources, Security and C-level executives to develop a strategic plan to recognize & prevent Workplace Violence.

SSG has worked with numerous firms developing their Security Plan.  These plans emphasize how to recognize and prevent workplace violence.   We have worked with Fortune 100’s, Non-Government Organizations, Charitable Groups, Churches, Schools and Manufactures.  Shaffer Security Group will teach you to recognize “Pre-Incident Indicators” and help you develop a portal to which your employees can report suspicious and potentially dangerous behavior.  Our experts know the security of your firm is based on teamwork.  We not only work with your Human Resources (HR), Legal Team, Chief Security Officer & your C-level executives; but we also work with your employees to develop and communicate a Security Plan that meets your firm’s specific needs.

Statistics Show Increase in Fatal Workplace Violence:

The most common indicator for Workplace Violence is “Domestic Abuse” at home. Does you firm have an established, effective means by which your employees can report domestic abuse?  Is your reception aware of these potential threats?  Do you have intervention capable employees to step in and help diffuse conflicts or violence? What are your legal requirements to protect your employees?

http://www.krgv.com/story/35596413/stats-show-increase-in-fatal-workplace-shootings

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Risk & Threat Assessment and let us develop a strategic security plan utilizing security, intelligence & training solutions to prevent workplace violence.

5 Steps to Develop your Active Shooter Response Plan

Developing Your Active Shooter Response Plan:

Does your firm have an Active Shooter Response Plan?  Has your plan been communicated to your employees?  Do you routinely have Active Shooter Response Drills?

As you are aware, the national conversation and the most recent statistics show that violence in the workplace is becoming more common.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 5% of all businesses experience an instance of workplace violence each year. For larger organizations with over 1,000 employees, this rate is increased tenfold to 50 percent.  A 2014 report from the FBI found active shooter incidents in the U.S. now occur on an average of once a month. Of these incidents, almost half (45.6 percent) occurred at a business while nearly a quarter (24.4 percent) occurred at schools and institutions of higher learning.

Although active threats can vary from incident to incident, the common threads found throughout can be woven together to create an effective and successful safety program. The following are bullet-points from lessons learned gleaned from research & years of experience fighting terrorism both on and off the battlefield.  I help businesses develop tools for building a solid foundation for a safety-minded workplace.  Then, I teach them how to respond when violence visits.

Mindset to Clear the First Hurdle:

More often than not, active threat training is the elephant in the room. Everyone has seen or heard of incidents, but are reluctant to take the steps toward mitigation. The reasons may vary.  From believing it’ll make employees more fearful than empowered; to worrying the training might not be “right” for the team. However, looking the other way is not a solution to any problem, much less one with deadly consequences.

Statistics show an active shooter incident is more of an ‘when‘ than an ‘if‘.  Unfortunately, violence doesn’t discriminate on where it can take place.  It could happen at your headquarters, warehouse or storefront.  All aspects of your business should be involved in preventative measures.

Breaking through the barrier of apprehension begins “One Team, One Goal” approach.  Leadership should evaluate the type of training that fits their organization’s culture.  Supervisors should communicate the importance of such training to employees, and clearly explain how the training will be implemented.

Flexible Response Plans:

Violence is seldom a cookie cutter affair, and a “one size fits all” response is an ineffective solution. Conversely, having too many threat-specific responses can be confusing, if not outright dangerous.  While different threats do warrant varying responses, a series of “stovepipe” procedures can cripple an organization during a high stress scenario.

All active threat response plans should be built upon the same principles.  Even if the minute details are lost in the heat of the moment, team members can still make informed decisions to ensure their safety.  Streamlining processes encourages a quick implementation and retention of information.  Knowledge increases confidence, confidence increases decisiveness, and it is decisive action in a critical incident that saves lives.

Proactive Response Plans:

As a result of the number of Active Shooter Events (ASE), there is a movement for companies to have a Plan of Action.  For better or worse, increased exposure of violence in the workplace means it an issue thrust into the forefront.  A strategy based on “it won’t happen to me” is a folly that can irreparably destroy a brand.

An effective response plan doesn’t begin when the incident occurs, but as soon as training can be conducted. Empowering employees with tools on how to identify and communicate possible high-risk indicators such as signs of growing anger, depression or erratic behavior can be just as, if not more effective, as decisive action during an active threat.

Clear Communication Plans:

A cohesive “one-team” mindset supported by a response plan based on fundamentals cannot take place without clear communication before, during, and after a critical incident.  The language plays a critical role in an active threat response program and can dictate the program’s success or failure. Such language should be consistent with current policies and procedures so the program is both effective and legally defensible.

Each company will need to tailor its active threat response plan to fit its culture and workplace environment. Thankfully, a simple concept already exists so organizations may build a clear and coherent plan: “Run, Hide, Fight.”

Customer Service:

Communication during a critical incident is not limited to employees.  It extends to customer interaction as well. How a company communicates around and with customers during an active threat incident can play a vital role in minimizing the harm as a result of panic.

Every active threat mitigation plan should include an emergency communication strategy which may contain one or two common components:

  • First is the use of a code like “Code Adam”.  This will notify employees to a specific issue, while customers and vendors remain unaware of any possible threat.
  • The second option is to use “plain English”.  This will notify everyone quickly which improves situational awareness.  For example, instead of using “Code Red” for an active shooter incident, the alert would announce there is an active shooter situation in progress.  This will allow employees, customers and vendors to take decisive action.

Every active threat situation will unfold differently.  External factors such as the weather, type of environment, and other variables can present unpredictable outcomes. By being proactive, such as implementing sound training strategies, companies can be prepared for and respond to an active threat. Through the empowerment of its most valuable assets – its people – companies can mitigate risks.   Thereby, protecting the safety of its employees, customers, and community.

SSG specializes in designing & implementing Active Shooter Response plans for your business, school, or firm.  We work with your CSO, Legal, HR and Supervisors to develop a portal to report pre-incident indicators.  We help develop and train your Crisis Management Team; and we will train your entire staff in how to identify threats and how to respond in the event of an armed assault.

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Active Shooter Response training today.

http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/88045-keys-to-building-a-successful-active-threat-plan

View our 178 acres Firearms Training Facility

178 Acres Firearms Training Facility

  1. Handgun Ranges
  2. Carbine Ranges
  3. Skeet Range
  4. Live-Fire Close Quarter Battle Shoot House
  5. Obstacle Course
  6. Roof Pitches
  7. Static Helo Platform
  8. Covered / Shaded Shooting Area
  9. Shooting In & Around Vehicles
  10. Campground
  11. Deer / Turkey / Pig Hunting

SHAFFER SECURITY GROUP (SSG) has partnered with CONSOLIDATED TRAINING GROUP (CTG) and built a Tactical Firearms Training Facility.

Shaffer Security Group (SSG) has access to a 178 acres FIREARMS TRAINING FACILITY.  Located just 50 minutes West of the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport.  The Firearms Training site is only 20 minutes West of Fort Worth in the town of Weatherford, Texas.

Shaffer Security Group (SSG) is proud to be a partner with Consolidated Training Group http://www.ctgdfw.com to provide you the finest Tactical Firearms Training Center in Texas!

Our Facility has a 1100 yard Sniper Range; Obstacle Course; CQB Live-Fire Shoot House; Multiple Handgun Ranges; Skeet Range; Carbine Range; Roof Pitches; Helicopter Shell; Sand Fighting Pit; Campgrounds; and we have both Hog & Deer Hunting during season.

We are the ONLY facility like this in North Texas!  Come and Train with us.  Call for more details – +1.469.279.2696

Our Sniper Range (1100 yards)

20×20 (Sand) Fighting Pit

View of our Pistol Range (foreground) & Carbine Range (aft)

Consolidated Training Group (CTG) Firearms Range in Weatherford, Texas.

Our Safety, Clearing, & Cleaning Bench.

From the Helo Shell, a 125 yard shot to the Steel Targets.

From this angle, a 75 yard shot to the Steel Targets.

Two Roof pitches to practice your sniper skills – 185 yard shot to the Steel Targets.

“The Man in the Arena”

Shaded Instruction Area & a Air-Conditioned Office / Classroom.

Staying Healthy this Summer Travel Season

The Summer Travel Season is upon us!  Are you planning on traveling overseas this summer?  If so, there are a few things you need to consider. During your pre-planning, its easy to think, “I’ll just look online or hop on over to the Doc-in-a-Box and they’ll tell me everything I need to know to keep from getting sick.”

That’s not always the case!

A study published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that travel clinics missed giving the measles vaccine to about half of eligible travelers.  For nearly a third of the missed cases, doctors or nurses simply didn’t offer the vaccine, even though measles is a problem in many parts of the world, including Western Europe and Mexico.  A traveler can be very easily exposed to measles around the world. The risk is very real.

With international trave it’s best to figure out what you need before you go to the clinic or your doctor and tell them exactly what it is you do need!

Here are just two tips to help you stay healthy while traveling:

1. Take the Pepto! 

The most common malady while traveling overseas you’re most likely to suffer is:  FOOD POISONING.  About a 25% of travelers will get gastrointestinal ‘distress’ within the first two weeks of an international trip.  Your best defense against this is both cheap and safe – Pepto Bismol.

Back in 1987, a study found that two tablets of Pepto Bismol tablets, taken four times a day, cut the risk of traveler’s diarrhea by more than 60 percent. The pills dropped the risk from 40 percent to only 14 percent.

If you do get sick, the pink pills may come in handy as the active ingredient, Bismuth Subsalicylate, can shorten the duration of a bout of diarrhea, and is a good alternative to antibiotics.

2. Remember the Routine Vaccines.

There’s a good chance you might need a vaccine prior to your travels – even if you’re just headed for a quick trip to Europe or the U.K.

The CDC recommends that all international travelers be up to date on routine vaccines, no matter the destination. Routine immunizations are the ones we get as children. The list is long. It includes about a dozen vaccines, everything from the pneumonia and whooping cough vaccines to those for Hepatitis A and B.  When you add onto this list any shots recommended for your specific destination, the list of possible vaccines can get complicated.

Plus, the CDC’s recommendations often get updated. Just a few weeks ago, the agency officially started recommending the cholera vaccine for travelers headed to places with ongoing outbreaks. And last month, they warned of a potential yellow vaccine shortage.

To make sure your clinician gets the list right for your specific trip, we recommend using the CDC’s new travel app, called Trav Well.

Users type their destination and time of travel into the app, and it tells them what they need to do to prepare.

So, travel safe this summer season and please do not hesitate to contact SHAFFER SECURITY GROUP if you have any questions about safety and security concerns for your summer travel plans.

 

How to Prevent Violence in the Workplace

How to Prevent Workplace Violence

Shaffer Security Group (SSG) has helped dozens of Fortune 100’s to develop a “Strategic Security Plan” to help identify & prevent workplace violence.

The below article copied from the National Law Review perfectly sums up what SSG teaches in our Security Awareness & Protection Course for Businesses.
Please take the time to read the article below and contact SSG to come and speak to your employees on how to identify behavioral indicators and how to respond effectively to violence in the workplace.
Stay Safe!
Published on The National Law Review

Article By:
Dennis A. Davis
Luther Wright, Jr

Daily reports of incidents of domestic violence are an unfortunate reality across our nation. Recent events in San Bernardino, California, and Cookeville, Tennessee, remind us that domestic violence issues sometimes spill over into the workplace, sometimes causing loss of life and/or serious injuries. Domestic violence is defined as violence at the hands of a current or former intimate partner or family member. It is often physical violence, but just as often, it is psychological and emotional as well. Domestic violence occurs at about the same rate across all ethnic, racial, and cultural lines, and no relationship between domestic violence and educational or economic status has been established. According to one statistic, 1 in 5 women in the United States is or has been involved in an abusive relationship, and 44 percent of Americans say they know of someone in an abusive relationship.

As troubling as these numbers are, what’s equally troubling is that there seems to be no safe haven from domestic violence. Notably, the workplace is frequently one of the places victims feel safest and seek refuge, but it is also one of the places where abusers know their victims can routinely be found. The leading cause of death for women at work is homicide, and 33 percent of women killed at work are killed by a current or former intimate partner. Given these statistics, it’s in employers’ interests to ensure that they are informed on the best ways to protect employees, prevent domestic violence incidents in the workplace, and respond to violent offenders who enter the premises.

Create a Culture of Support

Employees dealing with domestic violence issues are frequently reluctant to share their circumstances because they fear the social stigma of victimization or because they fear workplace reprisals. Comprehensive workplace violence policies may help proactively and effectively address these concerns. Such policies can encourage employees to come forward when they need help with the assurance that their personal circumstances will not be exploited or used against them in the workplace. Anti-violence policies can be used to change workplace culture and create an environment where domestic violence victims are encouraged to alert appropriate workplace contacts about domestic violence threats—even when the threats may not seem serious. In this regard, it’s helpful for employees to have consistent and reliable avenues to confidentially report threats and concerns about violence and be educated about the importance of doing so.

Once threats and concerns are reported, an employer’s security, safety, and legal personnel should be able to take all steps to secure the workplace. Strong general safety procedures often help reduce the number of domestic violence related incidents in the workplace. Effectively managing egress and ingress procedures, visitor protocols, and general premises security (e.g., secured parking lots and security cameras) are vital to the creation of a safe workplace campus.  Other preventive steps often include informing employees about threats on a “need to know” basis, alerting local law enforcement about violence concerns, and seeking legal restraining orders. When an employer’s actions consistently demonstrate a commitment to safety, they have the dual effects of limiting perpetrators’ ability to inflict harm and inspiring employees to report their concerns.

Recognize the Issue

While there is no single profile of a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence, there are behaviors that have been shown to frequently precede extreme acts of violence. It is important for human resources (HR) professionals and managers/supervisors to familiarize themselves with the warning signs so that timely intervention and prevention is possible. The behaviors that are highly correlated to domestic violence include the following.

Victim Behavior

Tardiness/Absenteeism. Twenty-five percent of women who claim that they are in abusive relationships report that the abuse has caused them to be late to work on more than one occasion. Employees in abusive relationships lose an average of seven days of work time every year due to domestic violence.

Inexplicable Injuries/Frequent Reports of Accidents. It is very common for those in abusive relationships to appear at work with black eyes, eye swelling, and other bumps and bruises.

Perpetrator Behavior

Frequent Calls/Visits to the Workplace.  Abusive behavior is most often an attempt to control the individual who is being abused. The perpetrator’s frequent visits and calls are an effort to stay informed as to whom the abused individual is talking and with whom the abused individual is visiting.

Threats. Threats of violence are intended to direct behavior. An abuser often uses threats of violence to control the relationship. Moreover, it is not uncommon for an abuser to threaten employees who come to the defense of an abused individual.

Employers can educate themselves and their employees about the signs of domestic violence and the actions individuals and organizations can take to safely intervene. Front line supervisors are typically the first to observe these behaviors, and employers need their immediate feedback about concerning behaviors. Additionally, all employers can empower their employees to bring concerns about suspected abuse and domestic violence to the attention of the workplace crisis management team as soon as concerning behavior is observed.

Respond to the Issue

The key to preventing workplace violence and lessening the severity of the acts that do occur is taking note of the warning signs in the earliest stages. But recognizing the early warning signs is not enough, on its own, to prevent acts of violence. It is essential to respond to the warning signs. A response should include the following actions:

  • Acknowledge the Behavior. To establish a culture of dignity and respect, address inappropriate behavior in the earliest stages and by the closest supervision level. All supervisors can be trained to conduct counseling sessions with employees as soon as they notice behavior indicative of an employee having trouble.

  • Document and Report to HR. First level supervisors are the eyes and ears of the organization. They have more face-to-face contact with employees than any other level of management. But they need not be alone in dealing with potentially problematic employees. Even when the appropriate intervention has been made, supervisors can be instructed to make sure that they are not making decisions in vacuums and to make others (HR, security, upper management, etc.) aware of concerns about employees.

  • Make Referrals and Get Others Involved. Employers should make sure that they are taking full advantage of the resources available to them. As soon as issues arise with employees, employers can consult with their employee assistance program (EAP) to find out what resources are available for employee counseling. If threats have been made, it would be appropriate to contact local law enforcement.

Intense Information Campaign

Publicize Policies

Employers’ workplace violence policies work best when they are widely disseminated and explained, in detail, to employees. One of the most important things an employer can do is inform all of its employees of what the company has done to prevent workplace violence and what it is they can do to support the company’s efforts. Employees suffering from domestic violence must understand that their employers are there to help keep them safe in the workplace and the role that they play in helping to keep their coworkers safe. Employers can publicize their new or revamped workplace violence policies in a number of ways, for example, by posting the policy in common areas and having new employees sign off on the policy.

What Should Your Policies Say?

Importantly, employers should inform employees that in the event of an actively violent incident, they have the obligation to remove themselves from harm’s way (i.e., run). If they find that running will place them in danger, they should find shelter in place (i.e., hide). As an absolute last resort, employees should know that you do not want them to be victims. They should do all that they can to survive a violent altercation (i.e., fight).

Convey to employees the expectation that they will help establish and maintain a violence-free workplace, and encourage them to report their concerns to HR.

Conclusion

Preventing workplace violence incidents in the workplace requires a group effort. Workplaces are safer when all employees are educated about the signs of domestic violence and informed about the steps they can take to prevent violent incidents. Employers may want to take efforts to ensure that their workplace violence policies are robust and constantly evolving to respond to potential threats. It is ultimately an employer’s preparation and commitment to protecting its employees that gives it the power to save lives.

© 2017, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Risk & Threat Assessment and let us develop a strategic security plan utilizing security, intelligence & training solutions to prevent workplace violence.

“The Man in the Arena”

One hundred and five years ago, Theodore Roosevelt gave what would become one of the most widely quoted speeches of his career – “The Man in the Arena”. The former president—who left office in 1909—had spent a year hunting in Central Africa before embarking on a tour of Northern Africa and Europe in 1910, attending events and giving speeches in Cairo, Berlin, Naples, and Oxford, among others. He stopped in Paris on April 23, and, at 3 p.m. at the Sorbonne, before a crowd that included “ministers in court dress, army and navy officers in full uniform, nine hundred students, and an audience of two thousand ticket holders,” Roosevelt delivered a speech called “Citizenship in a Republic,” which, among some, would come to be known as “The Man in the Arena.”

In addition to speaking about his own family history, war, and the responsibilities of citizenship; Roosevelt railed against cynics who looked down at men who were trying to make the world a better place. “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer,” he said. “A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities—all these are marks, not … of superiority but of weakness.” Then he delivered an inspirational and impassioned message that drew huge applause:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

The speech was a wild success.  “Citizenship in a Republic” ran in the Journal des Debats as a Sunday supplement and sent to the teachers of France by Le Temps. The speech was printed by Librairie Hachette on Japanese vellum, and was turned into into a pocket book that sold 5000 copies in five days.  The “Man in the Arena” speech was was translated across Europe almost instantaneously.  Roosevelt himself was surprised at its success!

President Roosevelt might be even more surprised to learn that the most famous section of his speech still resonates and inspires, even today.  “Man in the Arena” was quoted by President Nixon in his resignation speech. It was used by Nelson Mandela prior to the 1995 Rugby World Cup where South Africa defeated the favored All Blacks of New Zealand.  Washington Nationals player Mark DeRosa would read it to himself before big games, to include Game 4 of the National League Division Series in 2012.  DeRosa read it aloud to his teammates. “That’s a quote I’ve always gone back to,” he told the Washington Post. “I go to that a lot, I really do. I’ve done it since college. I like it because people think they know, but they have no idea what we’re thinking from pitch to pitch. With our backs against the wall I wanted to say something that brought us together, a little band of brothers. Go out and fight. See what happens. I felt it was fitting. It fires me up when I read it.” The team was victorious.

The speech has its cultural touchstones, too: One wonders what Teddy would have made of his words being tattooed on Miley Cyrus and used in a Cadillac commercial?

The partners of SSG have all been in the arena, have suffered greatly, and achieved mightily.  We hold close to our hearts these words of Teddy Roosevelt.  Stay in the Fight!