Think you’ve had some rough rides? Just listen to this harrowing story from former Delta Force Commander Jim Reese about a 2003 mission in Baghad.
“I was traveling at a high rate of speed (100 mph plus) …to avoid ambushes,” says Reese, who appeared on behalf of Chevy at an exclusive media event Made Man attended in North Carolina. “I pulled off the gas as I saw the spotlight from the US checkpoint into the airport, when the left side of the Tahoe exploded with a downpour of bullets. The insurgents jumped into the road and started shooting at our tail lights, I reached forward and turned off the lights while pushing my commander forward. He yelled that he had been hit as we approached the US Checkpoint with an M1 tank bearing down on us. We made it through the checkpoint and raced to the Army hospital on the airfield where both of us were treated for gunshot wounds and released.”
Yikes. Puts an entirely different spin on the idea of needing a dependable vehicle, right?
Fortunately, our one-day excursion was far more subdued than Reese’s 2003 incident. But in addition to learning about the special Midnight Edition models of the Tahoe and Suburban—equipped with unique features like black wheels, a blacked-out grille and black Chevrolet bow tie logos—we did get a taste of some of the things actually involved in pulling off special ops missions.
Here were five survival tips we picked up from Reese along with a few photos highlighting our recent Chevy excursion…
1. Take your nose out of your phone
“Put your phone down. When you’re out, look around and assess your environment. It only takes a minute to do that. But we are so damn glued to these phones” that we tend to miss anything else going on around us, explains Reese. “Be aware of your surroundings. Make it automatic.”
2. It’s better to be safe than sorry
“If you see something, say something,” says the former Delta Force commander. “You hear people say all the time, ‘you know I saw this thing and it just didn’t look right.’ Don’t be afraid to say something.”
3. Don’t always be so predictable
It’s a skill used by special ops teams to be able to counter possible surveillance, explains Reese (pictured below). In essence, it’s not a bad idea to change up some of your daily routines from time to time, like your daily route to work, in case someone might be watching you, waiting to take advantage of some pattern you are keeping.
4. Watch the hands
Keep a close eye on an individual’s hands if you a get a sense that they might be up to something suspicious, Reese says. “The eyes can lie, the face can lie, but hands don’t lie. They trigger everything.”
5. Last but not least, be ready to react
If ever faced with a dangerous situation like an active shooter, there are really only three options, “run, hide, fight,” says Reese. But most important, “do something, don’t freeze,” he says. “Quickly move to a safe area, find cover from the weapon, help others get out of the area and contact the police immediately.”