Gunfighter Moment – John McPhee


Humility is a virtue and as a trained Catholic I believe in virtues. I’m pretty sure the Pope believes in them as well, but since he is one of the few people I don’t actually know, I’m only guessing. Warriors, this is very important to the Warrior Code. If you want to become a master of war, you will display and demand this quality at all times.

First, humility will always save your ass. Meaning, this is the ability to say you fucked-up and know it. This will lead to a fix! Imagine that in this day and age – a real fix and not just hot air. On the battlefield one can’t afford politically correct answers or political bullshit! Non-answers will lead to your mates’ deaths, and there is no room for this in the warrior world.


Humility, when displayed in front of your warriors, shows you care. If you have to admit that you fucked-up to help the mission, then speak up! This will make you a stronger leader. There’s nothing more I want to hear than my boss saying “it’s fucked,” and drive on to a solution or success. You can never get better by patting yourself on the back. Be real, speak up, and drive on. Okay, the not-so-bright warriors will always just say it like it is. Best guys in a gun fight! “What’s up dogs I feel ya.” Now, all you smart brothers just say the truth, speak up, don’t layer or level the truth. Spit it out and save everyone because we don’t have time for you to say some sugar-coated bullshit. Fucking say it so we can move on before someone gets killed.

Be humble. We might have just killed a ton of savages but…they have families and are people. Sort the situation as best as possible and treat everyone as you want to be treated, while you follow procedures to safeguard yourself and your mates. Now, having said that, plan for the worst. I have been fucked over by some savage MFers quicker than you can figure out what just happened. Do not take shit. Follow your safeguard procedures, and if you have to crush a few people in the act of safe-keeping of your team then do it. War is a dirty business and always will be. Nothing is lily-white and if you have to get wet or red to save or fix a situation, then make it happen and move on.

Next, humility and your ego. First and foremost, let it go, Your ego will always negate any humility, which will always hinder your ability to do anything at a professional level. Big ego brothers, you’re the worst. Your over-inflated egos prevent you from being a force to be reckoned with. Just because you passed Big-man-do school doesn’t make you a commando. Okay, all you other over-inflated douche bags you’re in the same boat. Drop the ego and succeed, or continue the path you’re on and see what happens. Sure, you might be better than some, however, you will always be your own worst enemy and you will never see where you fucked-up. You will never reach your own potential, so stop the bullshit today and get in the game.

Finally, humility and training. Do not think you’re the shit in scenarios or training venues because things went right for once. To do things right takes hard work, dedication and repetition. Do NOT let your ego blind you from the difference between luck and skill. This will always blind you and in combat no one can afford this. See things for what they are and fix them now! Don’t let your ego cost someone you know their life!! A little humility goes a long way.

Shrek out, bitches!

SGM (ret) John McPhee served a distinguished career in U.S. Army Special Operations for over 20 years, retiring in 2011.

John has spent his adult life in Special Operations and Special Mission Units. He is a Master Instructor in all aspects of special activities, missions and operations. He has over 6 years of private special activities consulting and is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in: Special Activities, Operational Preparations, Limited Signature Operations, Reconnaissance, Singleton Operations, High Threat Dignitary Protective Services, Extreme Long Range, Designated Marksman, Advanced Precision Rifle Marksmanship, Combat Marksmanship, Live Fire CQB/CQC, Advanced Pistol Marksmanship, Advanced Carbine Marksmanship, Aeriel Gunnery (Rifles, Shotguns, Ariel Personnel and Vehicle Interdictions, Mechanical, Ballistic and Explosive Breaching, Freefall Instructor Programs, Infiltration/ Exfiltration Techniques, Ground Mobility, Unit Pre-Deployment Training, and Research and Development of; Soldier Systems, Weapons, Ammunition, Thermal and Night Optics.

Special Forces Target Interdiction Course
US Army Sniper School
NRA Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun, Instructor
NRA Range Safety Officer
Advanced Mountain Sniper Course, Instructor
Advanced Freefall, Instructor (Ratings Current)
Freefall Coach (Ratings Current)
California Personal/ Executive Body Guard Certification (Rating Current)
2005 Budweiser World Cup Super Heavyweight Jiu-Jitsu Champion
2004 Presidential Security Detail (Ariel Heavy) Cartagena, Colombia

He has trained countless U.S. Special Operations forces, thousands of International Tier 1 Operators and Special Forces around the world. He is one of the handful of operators with over a decade of combat having served in multiple theaters from Bosnia and South America to recent war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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5 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – John McPhee

  1. Chris says:

    Shrek Gunfighter Moments are always something worth reading in their entirety. I wish the other “Gunfighters” would drop some knowledge like Shrek seems to.

    Keep it up Shrek!

  2. Josh says:

    Nice brother, sage advice! Thanks!

  3. Buckaroomedic says:

    Amen Brother Shrek! Thanx for always calling BS when you see it.

  4. Shrek says:

    Brothers anyone can talk about Grip and trigger pull. It’s the grey areas and details that make the mark of a man.
    Brothers keep reading and please pass these on to others as they may need them.
    More to Follow……..
    Shrek out bitches

  5. Reverend says:

    Having the ability to admit mistakes allows growth. And we have a BUNCHA children in D.C. right now.