Everyone who has been deployed has some sort of pre-operation routine. As for myself I followed a strict guideline to ensure I had all the possible gear I would need.

As a TCCC operator, I also needed to have enough medical equipment to take care of my guys in case something would happen until the PJs (I have so much respect for these guys!) – if we were under fire – or a US Medevac bird take over my patient.

Here’s what I would normally do.

T-6 hours

  1. Eat lots of carbs, pasta most of the time.
  2. Get a serious amount of water in me with electrolytes.
  3. Clean my C8A2.
  4. Check my scope zero.
  5. Check my mags, grenades and spare M249 ammo.
Pre-Operation Routine in Kandahar
Some of our rifles.

T-5 hours

  1. Mission briefing.
  2. Air assets and artillery coordination. We would have pre-defined artillery strike positions we could use by only using a predefined word. These positions were where the Taliban liked to ambush us.
  3. Comms setup and map checks.
  4. Roc (rehearsal of concept) Drills.

T-4 hours

  1. Power Nap

T-3 hours

  1. Check TCCC kit and ensure all my guys have their MIST card filled (name, ranks, etc …)
  2. Quick Combat First Aid refresher.

T-2 hours

  1. ANA briefing. We would only give them a mission briefing 2 hours prior to departure, in case we had some Taliban infiltration.
  2. ANA weapons check.

T-1 hour

  1. Hydration
  2. Fill Camelback with cold water and electrolytes.
  3. Gather all our kit in our Loadout Room with LOUD music!

T-30min

  1. Gear up
  2. Weapon checks
  3. Gathering up the ANA
  4. Comms check between the team, the ANA and our HQ back to the FOB approximately 12 km east of us – Fob Wilson in this instance.
  5. One small scoop of pre-workout. While people might think this is crazy, we hydrate ourselves for 6 hours non-stop before going out so no real risk of dehydration. It made us more “alert”.
  6. Bathroom check (no time to take a dump while outside the wire).

From there on, we would go out and do our job. Depending on the mission, we would be back a few hours later and would go into our “stand down mode”.

Basically we would refill our mags, hydrate, clean our gear, refill our med pouches – TCCC for me – and do a quick weapon cleaning.

Here’s a few words about the Canadian Forces TCCC version.

Participants with no prior medical training are selected by their chain of command for the intense 2-week TCCC course. The first week is in lecture and laboratory format, whereas the major goal of the second week is to confirm these skills in increasingly complex scenarios using simulation. Like in the CFA course, soldiers are taught how to apply tourniquets and hemostatic dressings in patients with bleeding extremity wounds. However, TCCC providers have an increased scope of practice, and they are taught how to insert nasal pharyngeal airways and how to perform needle decompression under the direction of a medic. Most importantly, TCCC providers function as medic extenders; they work under the direction of medics and can help them by anticipating their next steps. Currently, 1 in 8 soldiers are trained as TCCC providers.