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Episode 182 S5-19

Answering Up


Special Guest:

Dark Days in Denver Ch 19

Ellen Kerr

The team resumes training for Denver as the Dark Days in Denver adventure continues. Confused by Bennet's training tactics the team wonders why answering up is so important. Here to explain the relevance of this tactical attribute is Ellen Kerr, Leading Seaman in the Australian Royal Navy.

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"Answering up" is the act of responding with a "yes, sir" or "yes, ma'am," whenever your commander, instructor, team mate, etc. talks to you. In high stress, dangerous, noisy environments you have to be able to communicate with your team and hear your commander over all other noises. This is why it is essential to train your brain to hear and respond to the directions it receives. You have to be able to hear the command for the team to function as a cohesive unit. If you miscommunicate, you may lose team members or your life.

Hearing someone else's voice amongst all the other noise is not easy. You have to do lots and lots of training to make your brain respond appropriately. Simulate the combat environment to the best of your ability and train in it. Learn to work with your commander and team before your life relies upon it. Put yourself to the test under stress to make sure the skill is engrained. If possible, work with blanks in your firearms and practice. Alternately, if you get a chance to play airsoft, practice working with your team constantly. Appoint a person the team leader and work on answering up when they give a command.

You absolutely have to hear your commander or coach above all the other voices. You can't tune them out!! You can't do your own thing when you are a part of a cohesive team.

It can be a challenge turn up the adrenal stress and really put your mind to the test. Practice when you are tired. Practice in all types of weather. Film yourself engaging in an activity and have someone commanding you. Find an ex drill instructor to drill you  while you are doing menial things. Have them ask: why are you doing that? How much product are you using? etc.


As a commander, demand compliance. Use physical exercise as a non-compliance penalty.


One you get used to replying with a "Yes, ma'am," or "Yes, sir," you may find yourself using it all the time.


As an alternate practice method, try listening to a podcast while someone is talking to you. Can you remember what was said both on the show and in person? 

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Dark Days in Denver Ch 19

Ellen Kerr

Born in 1980 in Australia, Ellen Louis Kerr, has been married for 16 years to her wonderful spouse, Brian. They have two daughters Miriam and Emma. Plus, 2 spoiled cats, 2 ducks, 1 budgie and two lizards. (What is a budgie you ask? A budgie is a native Australian Bird short for budgerigar. They are a popular pet in Australia.)

Ellen joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2003 and served for fourteen years. She has earned the rank of Leading Seaman and is an Electronic Warfare Director at sea. When she's on the shore she works in the field of electronic intelligence. Ellen was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2005 as part of the allied task force on board HMAS Darwin for which she is now recognized as a veteran. She has also deployed to and took part in numerous exercises in New Zealand, Hawaii and South East Asia.

In her spare time she practices Hapkido and works on staying prepared for whatever may come our way. Ellen enjoys camping, fishing, shooting and four wheeling. She loves SIFI and end of the world genre material. Her favorite TV show is Firefly. She loves her ducks and motorbikes.

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