GRA Maven (GRAM) will partner with Leadership Under Fire (LUF) to support their efforts in preparing mission-oriented leaders and organizations to operate in highly competitive settings.

In the spring of 2017, Leadership Under Fire hosted a Complex Attack Think Tank in Columbus, Ohio. The purpose was to examine the complex attack threat to our nation’s urban settings and identify tactical and operational deficiencies.

The participants in the Think Tank included leaders from the uniformed urban fire and police departments, the U.S. military, as well as representatives from the International Association of Firefighters and Department of Homeland Security.

The initial product of the Think Tank was a Complex Attack White Paper, which offered a concise summary of findings and recommendations.

Through this combined partnership, Leadership Under Fire and GRA Maven can offer solutions to the deficiencies noted following the Think Tank, in order to optimize the human performance of America’s first responders.


Summary of Think Tank Findings

The Think Tank stimulated conversation, identified emerging trends and threats, identified gaps and vulnerabilities in current tactical/operational approaches, and began to formulate recommendations for leadership in the first responder community. The collective thought of the group found it imperative that the American fire service develops the capability to operate in the complex attack threat environment.

Though it has been an incredibly low-frequency event in the United States, the overwhelming success of the complex attack against both first-responders and military units in global urban settings, demands attention.

There has been tremendous investment in enhancing our response to terrorist events since 9/11, which has facilitated the coordination between local and regional agencies. That said, it is critical to note that a complex attack is far more lethal, challenging, and asymmetric than an active shooter event alone. A complex attack scenario demands graduate level preparation, execution, and proficiency that surpasses what yields effective results for an active shooter event.

A complex attack is assumed to involve an adversary who aggressively uses automatic weapons and/or improvised explosive devices and fire as a weapon system. A complex attack poses the most lethal threat to not only the civilian and critical infrastructure, but also the immediate safety of first responders. Commanders must assume a complex attack will consist of multiple attacks, potentially distributed across an urban or geographic zone. The complex attack quickly exploits the capability set of both fire services and law enforcement. Operational models that are risk-averse will greatly aid an adversary and amplify the consequences. The mental, emotional, and moral rigors associated with decisive, yet discipline action in a complex attack environment, are greater than conventional fires and emergencies.

Given these facts, the LUF Complex Attack Think Tank outlined several deficiencies and recommend actions for each. These deficiencies included:

  1. A lack of tactical joint-ness
  2. Inadequate Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) to operate in the complex attack threat environment
  3. Inappropriate command and resource deployment philosophies
  4. A lack of detailed planning in joint operational PD-FD movement and staging, in order to enhance coordination and force protection, prior to conducting tactical actions
  5. Command and control models that advocate geographic and operational control measures (Hot, Warm, and Cold Zones) and sectoring that are appropriate for a Hazardous Materials incident, but are inappropriate for an urban battlespace


LUF and GRAM Solution

Recommended actions were also outlined for each deficiency. The intent of the partnership is to combine the unique capabilities of GRAM and LUF to develop training solutions to better prepare first responders to successfully operate in a complex threat environment.

The LUF team serves not only the first responder community, but also athletic and corporate industries. They examine each problem set and address them with a tailored methodology. Leadership Under Fire programs provide leaders with a comprehensive understanding of human performance and mission-oriented leadership. Their philosophy and approach have generated results in ultra-competitive and high-risk environments. The LUF team develops mission-oriented leaders by enhancing the mental, emotional, intellectual, and moral qualities.

GRAM provides specialized training, security, and consulting services to military, law enforcement, and first responders. Training services such as our Fire Survival Services, Close Quarters Combat & Marksmanship, and Active Shooter Response can be tailored to fit this challenge. At GRAM we also assist clients to prepare for and respond to potential emergency situations including security issues, terrorist incidents, and natural disasters. Security services such as Incident Management and Leader Development and Crisis Response and Management Services, when coupled with LUF’s expertise, can greatly assist in the LUF mission of preparing leaders and organizations for the moral, physical, and mental rigors associated with a complex environment.


About Leadership Under Fire:

 In the fall of 2006, the daily levels of violence directed at U.S. Marines and the Iraqi citizens in Fallujah spiked to record highs. Captain Jason Brezler and his team of Marines were tasked to partner with disenfranchised Sunni tribes and expel Al Qaeda foreign fighters. In spite of tremendous risk, further exacerbated by the lethal nature of urban combat, the Marines in Fallujah prevailed in fostering an “Awakening” that served to stabilize the city and dismiss Al Qaeda’s bid for control.

In 2007, Brezler and his Marines returned home to their respective professions as firefighters, athletic coaches, law enforcement officers, and businessmen. As they transitioned back to normal lives, they realized the lessons they learned under fire, in the world’s most unforgiving environment, had tremendous application to virtually every competitive endeavor—mission-oriented leadership, human performance, operational tempo, mental agility, moral fitness, risk, and resiliency.

In early 2012, Brezler established Leadership Under Fire as a formal company and began to grow a diverse team of leaders.

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About GRA Maven:

“GRA Maven is a veteran-owned and operated business. Our consultants and advisors are drawn from Tier 1 military special operations units and intelligence agencies in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. We are experts in our respective fields and committed to providing the best-in-breed security solutions and training available for our clients.

We make good on our promise by first seeking to understand our clients’ backgrounds, mindsets, capabilities, and needs. Recognizing that each client is unique, we create bespoke solutions that directly address its existing requirements and anticipated challenges.

GRA Maven’s mission is to provide full-spectrum security consulting to government and corporate clients and world-class training to military, government, and law enforcement personnel in the areas of rescue, mobility, and clandestine operations. Our expertise is unquestionable; our people peerless.”

-Kevin Chalker, Founder and CEO