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Discussion Starter #1
I hate to make reference to a video game for a question. But, in COD: MW2 the Rangers identify each other with the call sign "Texas" and the person should respond "Star." Or maybe was the other way around. Anyways, not important. THe question is if that happened what would we use to identify the friendly soldiers from enemy? Or in any scenario for that matter. WOuld we use a call sign and countersign system? Or is there a different way? Or is it don't trust anyone? Or it just hasn't been established? Because if Thats the case I think it would be a good idea to establish a system to recognize friendlies.
 

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If the "system" were established and published, it would defeat the purpose. LOL

When I was going through Survival Training in the Air Force, the rescue chopper teams would ask questions that required answers that were unique to the experience of US citizens, such as "name the TV show that introduced the Beatles to America" or "name three popular men's magazines" or "who was the Tidy Bowl man?" or "what gets out ring around the collar?" etc.

Not the best examples, but you get the idea.
 

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If the "system" were established and published, it would defeat the purpose. LOL

When I was going through Survival Training in the Air Force, the rescue chopper teams would ask questions that required answers that were unique to the experience of US citizens, such as "name the TV show that introduced the Beatles to America" or "name three popular men's magazines" or "who was the Tidy Bowl man?" or "what gets out ring around the collar?" etc.

Not the best examples, but you get the idea.
I would fail most of those!! Actually, I would avoid ANYONE. If by chance I suspected I was running into someone from here, I would just shout "G&G, Dragunov".
 

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i would be hunkered down at night with me comrades, then that way any one walking about is the enemy.
 

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Rule of thumb...
If a soldier (or anyone else) is shootin' at ya; he ain't friendly.

First impression can be false...don't trust anyone until you get to know their game.

If they say "Hey, nice gun...can I see it?" Send'em packin'.

T'ain't an easy question to answer...gotta gut feelin'? Go with the gut.
 

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You referenced a video game, I'll reference a T.V. show - Stargate SG-1 from Colonel O'Neill - '... I like his style... shoot now, send flowers later...'

In actuallity though, I think you should make up your own codes with your group, and change them frequently. Look at it this way, if your group is checking out an old store in some abandoned (supposedly) part of town. Let's say there are two guys in your group guarding outside the exit, and the rest of your crew is comming back out. If they just wander out of the door, they might get shot. If you call out 'River!' and they call back 'Bank!' and someone else who's not a part of the group hears you... Well, next time around, when you hear 'Bank!' you'll relax, drop your gun, and then have mess on your hands when some other unknown people storm out with guns at the ready.

A safety system can be just the opposite if not executed well.
If you change it frequently, and get an old responce back. You can reply with something like '... Say again? What time is it?' to remind your guys that they need to re-think their answer. Something like this could be used as a fail-safe for when people will eventually forget what the current passwords are. Give them a second to reply 'Green!' and all is good. If you get anything else... See the quote above.

Also, on the subject of 'green' you could also make a responce system a little more complicated.. If I called back 'Green' it could just mean 'Green river' but it could also mean, 'We're all good and comming out.' If I responded 'Blue' it might mean 'We're comming out, but with unfriendly company.' So you know your crew has been taken hostage, and to get ready for an encounter. The hostils won't know if your password is the right one or not, so long as both sides of your crew play it off well.

Make up your own code, and change it frequently. And don't forget hand signals!
 

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When I used to go on deployment for certain things in my last command we would have seal teams talk with us and take pics and them ask us three unique questions in case they had to come get us so they would know who we were.
 

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Sign and counter-sign, which is what you are talking about, is generally used for fixed positions in which one part of the group is guarding the position and another part of the group is out on a patrol. They would generally do recon at night, so upon their return to camp, sign and counter-sign would be used to identify the personnel as they approach the perimeter. This is also where duress words come into play. If you are being held against your will and forced to return counter-sign by the enemy, you can simply use the wrong word. (at which point the perimeter guards are going to light you up, but at least you didn't get your entire unit killed)

So, for a survival group, militia type group, or even a small family bugging IN, sign and counter-sign could work quite well. Of course the entire group has to be taught the process and given the codes. Codes generally change each day, and sometimes every few hours, so the system has to be known by all.

There is no generic "Friend or Foe" challenge and password system used service wide. It is all determined by local doctrine. So you can feel free to create your own system.

Now, if someone is approaching your perimeter and you don't know who they are, you are best off treating them with a degree of hostility until their intentions are known. They should be stopped, searched, questioned, etc. It will be up to experience and training to determine if the person is truly a threat, or just someone seeking friendly shelter and protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, I see what you'e all saying. That does make sense and I am running the different call sign and countersign messages in my head. From what I'm thinking they're pretty well full proof. But, there's really no way to figure out if they're good or not unitl they have to be used.
 

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I remember using sign/countersign messages in field training exercises in my college ROTC days. For some reason, "Beetle" and "Bailey" always sticks in my head. Anyway, I thought it was a good system, and long as you don't make it too easy. I wouldn't use "thunder" and "lightning."

You could always use the crickets featured in "The Longest Day" as long as no one is using a Mauser!
 

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As an example of how the system can work- or not - rewatch the James Whitmore movie Battleground, about the Battle of the Bulge. Life could get real interesting for a grunt if he wasn't up on current events, slang, didn't follow sports or didn't know major landmarks in big cities and what they meant. Challenge and password (that's how I learned it) isn't all that useful unless you're in a fixed location and then only for short duration. Dad said in World War II, his outfit changed the passwords every night.

One thing that might be helpful if you do have occasion to use it is to reverse the sequence. For example, playing off the old phrase 'hammer and tongs,' have the challenge be "tongs" and the password "hammer." Or for the science fiction-minded, "Seven" and "Galileo."
 

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When we were on manuevers we would embed the sign/countersign words in sentences so they couldn't easily be picked up on by eavesdroppers.
 

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Number combinations work too. Let's say your group decides today's number will be 19. The challenge could be 11 and the response would be 8 (or any other combination that equals 19.
 

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I'm kinda lucky, my voice is so distinctive that it's easily recognized, no matter what I say.

Blame it on Cousin Jeff (NASCAR announcer) or Cousin Earl (Thundercats-Panthro) ;)
Dang near the whole family is like that, golden voices...might have something to do with having so many preachers in the family...trained voices start with a good basic speaking voice. Genetics help...

On the other hand, not everone has such a distinctive tone & timbre...so you have to use rotating passwords.
Nobody in their right mind uses the same words for every op.

KNOWING the people in your squad makes more than a little difference. The way someone walks, talks, and tends to act can help one determine a lot more than who is coming, it can also tell you their state of mind.

This whole discussion reminds me of those little Kriket Clickers from WW2, they would click once or twice, the other person would click either twice or once.
That got screwed up by Germans who worked the bolt of their K98, making clicks...LOL

Plus, when one uses their voice to call out, it alerts people and things farther away than sight...
Imagine you are creeping around someplace and about 50-10 yards away you hear "Texas!"..."Star!"
You know that someone else is in your field of play...

Throat mikes are the way to go...with lithium rechargeables. Add a solar recharging pad, and you are set for a decade of OPs.
 

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^ LMAO!!!!!!!!!!! ROFL!!!!!!

Is the password to that challenge NO?
 

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I used to play on a paintball team, and every year, we'd play against the Cadets at West Point. My favorite sign/countersign was "Curious" "George."
 

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I'll be the old white haired guy that moves real slow, my code word will be " Help "

OMFG If I had a Drink at the Moment of Reading That ^^^ I would have spat it all over the Monitor!!!! Lucky my sodacan isn't open yet lmao.... a Specific type of Tattoo design shared within the Group would be one way to Identify friend from foe when your face to face
 
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