A man who can blend in to any scene or situation without standing out , hiding his skills and qualities. Source - urbandictionary.com
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Become The Gray Man
By Ray Gano
Becoming the gray man, it will be an important skill; a skill you will need in the future days to come. You will need to learn how to blend into your environment, look like everyone else, and become the "average looking Joe."
But what makes you different is that you are alert to your surroundings, you suspect everyone that comes within your 20 foot perimeter and you are ready to react if need be. The real mission is to just be left alone while putting off that "sheepdog" disposition instead of being one of the sheep.
You are not some weekend warrior or paramilitary nut, you are just like everyone else except your every day carry gear probably includes keys, cell phone, wallet, wrist watch.... a folding lock blade knife, multi-tool, pepper spray, maybe even a flashlight and if you are C&C licensed, a handgun with an extra loaded magazine.
This is today and you have adapted to the "new normal" that we now call America.
Crime, looting, blocked roads due to riots, muggings, theft, rape and murder. These are more common place today than the days of yesteryear.
We live in a time where going to the mega-mart or the grocery store is an act of bravery, determination, logistics and security. No longer is it just running to get a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs.
Not that way in your area yet? Just wait.
How To Be The Gray Man
Look around, what are all the guys wearing? Now I am focusing on the guys because I am a guy. Ladies, this is for you also, take my examples and adapt them to what you would wear and so forth.
Here in the Texas Hill Country, the majority of men wear some sort of "cargo" shorts. They go to just above the knee and tend to be a little baggy. Beige, brownish red, or blue jeans tend to be the color of choice.
For a shirt, one will wear a common "T" shirt that is lose fitting sometimes with a pocket on the left breast. Or if they want to dress it up a little, a button up short sleeve. Usually some sort of cotton print.
When it gets close to hunting season, around the beginning of August, the "Real Tree" cammo "T" shirts become the norm. See here in Texas, hunting is a big deal and everyone gets in the mode. It also helps that the local Walmart sells these cammo "Beefy T's" for only $6.00 each.
On his feet, are ankle socks or rolled over tube socks under sneakers or some form of work boots.
This is what an "average Joe" looks like when he is in his casual dress out on the street.
This is how I dress, except I try not to wear loud logo based shirts, no jewelry except my wedding ring, nothing that makes me stand out.
If someone asked about you, could they describe you or would they be describing just about everyone else, the average Joe?
How you DON’T want to dress
Like I said You don’t want to attract attention towards yourself. Don't wear bright colors or "haute de couture" fashion, nothing that makes you stand out.
Example: Here in Texas everyone thinks of the cowboy. We have a lot of cowboys walking around, but they are not dressed in the "A" typical cowboy dress.
The cowboys here are not wearing the long sleeved shirt with fringes dangling, no 10 gallon cowboy hat, nor fancy rhinestone pants. Everyone imagines the average cowboy looks like Roy Rogers or Hop-along Cassidy but they don't.
The average cowboy looks just like the person that I described above except that he probably wears some sort of work jeans. Come fall and winter here in Texas, we all look like the average "cowboy."
Once in a while you will see someone wearing a cowboy hat. Straw cowboy hats are acceptable for guys over fifty during the summer time. During the winter everyone switches from straw to a black felt hat.
Believe me, if you step out of this mold, you will get noticed and that is not what you want to do.
If you are a prepper, you do not want to be dressing in some sort of combat BDU pants, army boots, and definitely no shirts with paramilitary sayings like "death from above" or pictures that you see at all the gun shows. This is a dead give-away and shouts "HEY... Look at me, I am a weekend warrior."
Become The Gray Man
Become the average Joe, blend into your surroundings. But walk with a purpose and be alert to what is going on around you.
While you want to look like the average person, you want to project a demeanor about you that tells the wolves "to leave you alone, you are not one of the sheep, don't mess with me."
See, the sheep will not notice you, just like real sheep, they do not really notice the sheepdog. But the wolves will see you. Wolves are cowards and seek out the weak, frail and innocent. They do not want to have to work too hard, they want to be in and out and be done with the job.
So while you don’t what to be wearing some neon sign blinking " GUN... GUN.... GUN … KNIFE … KNIFE … KNIFE … with an arrow pointing at you; you want to be acknowledged as someone who is alert, aware and not some soft target.
How you achieve this is by training yourself. Look like you are someone alive, not some drained zombie who stairs at the ground, shoulders slumped as if he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Make eye contact and smile at people, greet them and wish them a good day or just a simple nod of the head will do.
You don't want to seem like some bodyguard type either. You know the guys with the little curly tube sticking out of their ear, dark Ray-Ban glasses, constantly scanning, ready to pounce at a moment's notice. That is going overboard.
I bring up the Mega-stores because that is where America shops, it is also where the wolves hang out for some quick prey.
When walking in the parking lot, have a determination to your step, enter Mega-Store and look the greeter in the eye, nod your head say hello and smile. Then take a basket, eye the cashier and the customers checking out, assess if anyone is out of place then move on for that gallon of milk, dozen eggs and a few extra boxes of ammo.
BUT for example… if you enter the store, scan the area and notice someone wearing a trench coat and it is 90 degrees outside. This should raise your red flags. If this happens, step up the pace and move into the store, get out of the general area and do your shopping.
Every Day Carry - What I wear
I do not want to go into much detail in this article as to Every Day Carry (EDC), that is for another article, but for your E.D.C. kit carry what you want. The items above are what I carry and I don't look like I am wearing Batman's utility belt either. My clothes do not scream "Hey.. It's Mr. Tactical Guy here" either.
I wear Wrangler brand cargo shorts. These have cargo pockets on each side as well as a cell phone pocket that opens above the cargo flap. They have side pockets which the right pocket has a coin pocket inside the deep right. Finally there are left and right rear pockets.
As for a shirt, I wear a common black, blue, beige, Fruit of the Loom pocket "T" shirt or a short sleeve button up with a left breast pocket. If it is hunting season, which at the time of this writing it is. I also wear cammo "Real Tree Beefy T" shirts because just about every other guy is wearing them also.
An important item that I want to touch on is your belt. I wear a double thick "Justin Boots" black leather belt with a common cowboy belt buckle. Your belt needs to be sturdy enough to carry all your gear if you do not put the items in your pockets as well as hold up your pants. So you do not want some inexpensive belt from the big mega stores. Invest some money in this and you will not be sorry. You would be surprised how much a cell phone, buck knife, and a Multi-tool weighs when you are carrying it on your hip. With a heavy duty belt it will also help distribute the weight of these items more evenly and honestly once you get used to them, you forget they are even there. Another thing, my belt is also a last ditch defensive weapon. The buckle weighs a good 10-12 ounces and makes for a mean bludgeon and can help keep someone at arms distance if need be.
How I developed my EDC was that I slowly carried one item, then added another and another. It took time in getting used to carrying gear, finding the spot where it is easy to access and have it not be banging around on my leg or chest. You will find that some things work and some things don't. Carry what tools and gear you need but don’t make it obvious that you are a prepper or you will look like some paramilitary tactical guy.
If you can get away with it, use a back pack or messenger bag. Look at what others are carrying in your area and adapt to the look. If everyone carries a back pack, carry a back pack. If they carry a messenger bag, well then messenger bag. With this you can also carry a water bottle, small first aid kit and any other gear that is important to you.
Just remember to keep it light, you do not want to turn yourself into some pack mule.
When I dress up, I usually wear black jeans, black cowboy boots, a black long sleeve shirt and a tie. If need be and I need to dress up more, I wear a beige twill sport coat and in all of this, I can still carry most of my gear. This is what the average guy wears here when they dress up, so I am still blending in and looking good too.
If someone would describe me, they would say he had on black shirt, pants and cowboy boots. In other words I look like every other Joe that walks into a nice restaurant or business meeting.
Becoming the gray man will be an important skill for you to develop, specially as crime starts to rise, which it will. You will need to be equipped to protect yourself and possibly others if needed. You will also want to blend in the background.
Above all, your goal is to get home safely that day. You are not some super hero nor are you there to protect the world. You are ready to defend yourself if you have to, but your goal is not having to resort to that.
Tactical retreats, AKA running away is totally acceptable. The only one who didn't walk away was John Wayne and that was in the movies. You are not bullet proof nor knife proof, so run don't walk if you think you need to get out of the area fast. Your spouse will be glad you did and so will you.
And as a last resort, always remember it is better to face 12 than to be carried out by 6. So if you have to protect yourself, fight to win because you will be fighting for your life.