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Three C's of Coordinated Defense

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The Three C’s of Coordinated Defense were in the past called the Three C’s of Tactical Operations with a Team because they come from the world of close-quarters battle and executive protection teams.

Modern Definition of the Three C’s

Now the Three C’s of Coordinated Defense can be applied to refer to family defense, active shooter response in the workplace, or just generally coordination between any two armed people in a worst-case scenario in a public space. What exactly are the Three C’s?


Have a plan and be able to execute it. And that means even for two strangers who team up during a critical incident. You as the leader can recruit the other person(s) to help you execute your plan. Remember the old adage that in the middle of an incident, it is too late to formulate a plan.

Defensive-minded citizens make plans for various scenarios and are ready to execute them as needed. You can discuss such plans with your co-workers or family and practice them by running drills or scenarios to give your plans the best chance to succeed if you ever need to execute them.


You need to be able to account for the variables, the things that your plan can’t predict, such as where you’ll be when the incident occurs, or how many bad guys there will be, or even what the nature of the threat will be.


If you don’t have a plan and your communication breaks down, cooperation is all you have. Find work — fill the gaps — improvise and find something to do. Cooperation creates the opportunity for you to do what you need to do in a worst-case scenario. If someone is not doing what they’re supposed to be doing per the plan, you step in and do it.

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