Rhys Dowden's Operator Edge

They yelled at us to get into bed quickly. We were made to take off our boots and get into our sleeping bags. It was 11.40pm during week 3 of my Commando selection course and I had a sneaking suspicion the night was not over.

20 minutes later the screaming commenced. We were ordered out of our beds, to dress in battle PT equipment and to form up on the road just outside of the tents we were ‘sleeping’ in.

  • 4 min read

I always thought I knew what self-discipline was and how to employ it. After all, the concept is quite easy, right?

You have a task to do, you really don’t want to do that task, but you make yourself do it anyway.


  • 5 min read
I was helping a mate out a while back on an executive protection security job. Now, when I say ‘helping’, I certainly didn’t do it out of the kindness of my heart… I was well paid.
  • 3 min read
This saying is synonymous with fitness facilities, martial arts studios and, in particular, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) clubs. It’s a great saying and great advice, but reading it is one thing and implementing it quite another.
  • 3 min read

A few weeks ago I was promoted to the rank of brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

In adult class, there are 5 different belts to achieve before you get to black belt. White, blue, purple, brown and, finally, black.

Most martial arts take around 3–5 years to achieve a black belt, while BJJ takes on average 8–10 years to achieve the same feat.

  • 6 min read

My first mission within a Sniper team didn’t exactly go the way we’d planned…

We were inserted via Chinook helicopter a little after midnight on a moonless night. It was dark; really dark.

We were each carrying around 65–70 kgs of equipment. It was heavy.

  • 4 min read

Motivation is fickle. It comes and goes and is a key element that separates those who are successful in their endeavours and those who give up.

Sometimes you have no trouble jumping out of bed at 5am, sprinting to the gym and smashing yourself in a killer session. You’re so motivated you can bang out a 5,000 word assignment without a break, finish your quarterly bookkeeping or clean the entire house without complaining.

  • 4 min read

Do you have good situational awareness?

With the current environment we live in, you’d better.

  • 2 min read
Recently I put a post on Facebook regarding a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) competition I entered at the weekend. It was all about challenging yourself when you’re not fully prepared and I wanted to explain it a little further.
  • 3 min read

I wrote a short post recently on Facebook where I talked about my first experience contracting in Iraq.

Rocking up to Baghdad airport without much of a clue as to what was going on, being met by an overweight American who was profusely sweating and extremely anxious, my foray into private security contracting started nervously.

  • 2 min read
The following article is a piece I wrote up after I came back from Afghanistan. People were always asking if it was tough over there with the equipment, conditions and bad guys. This answers that question, but also gives you an insight into why circumstance can bring out the best and force you to be mentally strong.
  • 3 min read