From Tactical to Practical – Tactical Training Being Put to Use in Everyday Life. This is the second article in a series written to provide real examples of how tactical training was used in everyday life. The articles are extracted from the boring life of one of the Brushbeater students and a proud member of the Mossy Oak Militia.


Incorporating hand signals into your daily life will make it easier to communicate and help eliminate confusion.

Not only are tactical hand signals a great way to communicate with a fire team, but they are also an easy way to communicate with your friends and family when voice methods simply won’t work. Tactical hand signals have been time-tested and proven to work, so there is no reason to leave them on the battlefield.

As you start using hand signals in your everyday life, one important key is discretion. There is no need to run around and waving your hands drawing attention from everyone. You’re not launching a jet from the deck of the USS Enterprise, you’re just trying to relay some simple information.

Photo Credit: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Another factor to consider is simplicity. The hand signals that you select should be simple and easy to recognize. There is no need to create complicated signs like you see a baseball coach giving to a batter. Just use what works, and simple is what works!

You can pull hand signals from other professions and organizations while you are developing a system that works for you.

  1. American Sign Language
  2. SCUBA Diving
  3. Crane Signaling
  4. United States Marine Corps
  5. Visual Signals TC 3-21.60 (March 2017)


One simple way we use hand signals is at church. If one of the little kids need to go to the restroom, they simply show the “toilet” sign and I respond back with the “yes” sign. This lets me know where they are going when they get up and we don’t interrupt the church service with chatter.

Another way we use hand signals is when the kids are at the baseball field. When they are across the field and are playing with their friends, they will periodically give me the “ok” sign and I will respond back with the same. Doing this lets me know they really are ok and it lets them know that I am watching over them.

Recently we were at a lake and the kids were play on a large, inflatable obstacle course floating in the water. The platform was about 20 yards from shore and was super crowded with noisy kids. Throughout the day, I would watch moms and dads walk to the shoreline and yell, whistle, and whoop while trying to talk with their kids. It wasn’t very effective at all and it was easy to see the parents get frustrated.

For us, when it was time to go, I simply got the kids attention and used hand signals. No yelling, no frustrations, and no embarrassment!

Photo Credit: TC 3-21.60 (March 2017)


Here are five hand signals that everyone should know.

  1. No – American Sign Language
  2. Yes – American Sign Language
  3. Ok – SCUBA diving community
  4. Toilet/Bathroom – American Sign Language
  5. Come here/rally on me – US Army


Jessie Blaine is a former Marine living in refuge somewhere in the Lone Star State.  He is in a perpetual state of learning, which is the second best state to be in, with the Lone Star state being the first. 

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