The High Threat CQB method was developed due to the obvious tactical disadvantages of typical methods of immediate entry against prepared defenders.  It is not simply a “better” way of doing the same thing.  It represents a paradigm shift in the way CQB is conducted with an emphasis on providing an immediate tactical advantage and greater survivability to its users, using the framework of a simple, integrated, system.  It allows complete flexibility for any variety of missions and allows and encourages users to be tactically adaptive to the situation at hand.


“Modern” Methods often fail upon significant resistance

The modern method of dynamic entry often leads to failure without complete surprise and low levels of resistance.  The idea of moving through a doorway one at a time, moving to the corners, and achieving overlapping fields of fire works well under conditions of total surprise, with near perfect execution of its users, and with no to little resistance from the occupants.  With average execution, it is only viable against low levels of unprepared resistance unless the users are willing to accept multiple casualties.  Use of distraction devices and explosive breaching can help, but are no guarantee of effectiveness and often cannot be used.  This is easily provable in any force on force exercise or by a simple review of catastrophic entries by teams against ready and willing defenders.  Immediate entry is often immediately abandoned on the first moderately resistant contact.


“Modern” Methods are inflexible and don’t emphasize survivability

Few tactical situations are so critical that teams absolutely must get through a doorway immediately without having any time to significantly observe and react to the situation and threats inside the room.  It is common sense that processing information before acting will allow greater safety and a flexibility of response. The amount of time spent at the doorway can be minimal and it can be done while still applying the principles of speed, surprise, and aggression. With the High Threat Method multiple shooters engage immediate threats from the doorway.  If a fight ensues, operators who are wounded can be more easily extracted, and the team can withdraw and re-engage with justifiably greater force, or can abandon and destroy the structure in military operations.  Limited rules of engagement favor the defender; immediate entry as a default limits team options even more favorably for the defender.


 Development of the High Threat Method

The method was developed based on looking at the current operational environment (AO), the abilities and capabilities of the performing operators, and the needs of the required missions.  A variety of methods were reviewed and it was found that methods of limited penetration had been used successfully for decades in similar situations.  These initial methods were modified to include the most effective aspects of other methods, including the immediate entry method, and a framework was developed to make the system tactically effective in a wide variety of situations.  It is principle driven, behaviorally based for operations under duress, and simple and flexible at the same time.


Universal, Simple, Flexible

The High Threat Method is universally applicable to a variety of clearing methods from stealth, deliberate, dynamic, and rescue operations.  The basic tactics and techniques remain the same and are mostly modified only by the speed of execution.  Whether a team needs to immediately enter the room or has the ability to clear cautiously, the general tactics remain consistent and only one skill set is needed.  Teams can also switch “on call” from one method to another if the situation at hand significantly changes.  For example, losing surprise on an objective, conducting secondary clearing, or finding a rushed need to enter a room.

The High Threat Method is simple and behaviorally based for very good reasons; techniques that coincide with humans natural instinct are the most easily learnable, most retainable, and most accessible under real life duress.  Examples of this with the High Threat Method are: instinctive use of cover, focus on survivability, dealing with immediate threats immediately, physical touch as a control measure, and caution and focus at areas of greatest danger.  One of the primary concepts is “Cover, is a corner, is a door, is a window, is your partner.”  This implies that the basic technique of using cover is implemented in all aspects of CQB from entering a room to moving with a partner.  Another concept is the use of bounding overwatch in CQB all the way down to the individual room entry level.  Simple skills, developed to a highly unconsciously competent level, free the users mind to make better tactical decisions.

The High Threat Method allows flexibility of response.  Generally 80% of rooms will be cleared the same exact way, but when the situation at hand requires a modification, a simple “on call” command can be given and the users conduct one of a few well-rehearsed battle drills to tactically approach the situation.  Forcing an immediate entry out of conditioning and dogma into every situation can become a tactical nightmare.  The High Threat method remains consistent, with on-call adaptability that more easily allows withdrawal from less-survivable situations such as barricaded gunmen, suicide vests, and IEDs.


Key Concepts

  • Tactical Approach- more guns up front; triangulation on threats

  • Dynamic limited penetration- a flash picture of the room; time to process before entry

  • Develop behaviorally based actions- if instincts improve tactics, they are used

  • Seek an offensive advantage- two guns on a threat ASAP; avoiding a one on one close range gunfight

  • Seek a defensive advantage- cover, movement, OODA loop disruption during CQB makes the system more survivable 

  • Focused corner/threat attack- remaining threats identified from the breach point

  • Problem solving battle drills- “on call” commands to changing situations

  • Simple universal tactical concepts- use of cover, triangulation of fire, bounding overwatch, and command, support, assault, security elements are applied to all tactical situations and environments



  • Users can operate from an offensive and defensive tactical advantage 

  • The main concepts have been battle proven for decades

  • It allows all levels of users to remain tactically flexible

  • It is non-dogmatic and “just makes sense”

  • It is currently in use by numerous tactical teams, special forces units, and even basic “line” personnel

  • It is principle and behaviorally based making it easily trainable

  • Techniques hold up and are unchanged from dry-fire, live-fire, force on force, and real world life and death situations

  • It is fully compatible with restricted rules of engagement

  • It will allow you to prevail more often with less risk