Military Tactics for Home Defense – Survival Prepper

Military Tactics for Home Defense

Thanks for stopping in preppers. Due to some recent changes we are adjusting our editorial calendar. Until further notice, we will publish two posts a week, one on Monday and one on Thursday. We feel that this gives you better reliability and allows you to be more informed of our schedule. Please subscribe to our newsletter and we will notify you as soon as a post is published. Thanks for all of your support and enjoy our Home Defense article.

Military Tactics for Home Defense

Defending a position has a far higher combat advantage than assaulting one. Rather than leaving yourself open, you will be able to set up your home in order to provide cover and concealment against enemies. While this added level of protection is great for almost any situation, it is imperative that you deliberately plan how to set up your home’s defenses. Effective tactical defensive strategies revolve around the defender controlling the terms of engagement.

While you will want to utilize all features of your property in order to develop a concentrated defense strategy, we are only going to focus on how to set up your home in a way to provide you with the best opportunity to eliminate any threat. These ideas can be applied as easily to a ranch house in the country as they can be used to defend an apartment within a metropolitan area. Remember, the core concept of defensive operations is controlling the engagement.

Develop Engagement Zones

Before you spend time building anything, you should evaluate the natural strengths and weakness of your area. Ideally, you would want all assaulting forces to approach from a single, open avenue. In addition, you would want this avenue to be more virtually impossible to escape from once they are already inside. This will allow you to take appropriate action to neutralize the threat without fear of their escape and counterattack.

Honestly, all of this talk is kind of abstract. The concrete details involve forcing your enemy to enter and exit through one narrow doorway. This allows you to know exactly where they will enter, and depending on the internal structure can result in an effective engagement zone. U.S. Army Urban Operation doctrine refers to these areas of a building as a “fatal funnel.” Best case, you would want the entryway to open into a narrow hallway or stairwell. This elongates the fatal funnel and makes it harder to escape.


Imagine that some looters break in, but once they are halfway down your fatal funnel, you engage. They have three real options. The first is to fire back, but due to your ability to hide, engage from cover, and misdirect their attention, it is likely that they will be neutralized well before they get close to firing on your position. Their second choice is to turn around and escape. This gives you the discretion to engage, but since they are forced to stay in the fatal funnel until they get outside, you have ample opportunity to make sure that they will never do this to another person. Finally, their smartest choice is to surrender and put themselves at your mercy. By using fatal funnels as an engagement zone, you set up a lethal trap that will destroy even a superior force.

Let’s say that your house does not have any entrance that opens into a hallway or stairwell. If contact is expected, you can arrange your furniture to create an artificial fatal funnel. By making a narrow pathway with a sofa, table, desk, etc. you can force your enemy to follow the same path as if they were walking in a hallway. In some cases, this can be advantageous because you have more flexibility to set up your firing position since you are not limited by your buildings walls.

Confusion & Misdirection

Once you have your engagement zone set up, it is important to camouflage and misdirect your enemies knowledge of your position. Your firing position should have a good field of view of the engagement zone, offer protection against incoming rounds, and offer the ability for you to move if needed. The last is incredibly important, because if you become pinned down due to a barrage of gunfire you need to be able to escape. This eliminates closets and corners because they serve as self-imposed traps in case the tide of the firefight turns.

In addition to providing solid cover, you fighting position should break up your silhouette while appearing natural to your surroundings. Misdirect your enemies attention from your body to a larger, more dominant structure nearby. In addition, try to set up human shapes silhouettes in false positions so they are more likely to engage a decoy rather than yourself.

Establish Egress Routes

As stated earlier, your position should have multiple ways to escape in case something goes wrong.This can be that the enemy has an overwhelming number or your weapon malfunctions during the firefight. Regardless of the reason, you should have a plan for you to escape. Each step of your retreat plan should be focused on another position of cover or concealment. For example, you leave your fighting position, but stay hidden by a couch.

Though this is contingent on the overall size and layout of your home, you could incorporate a second engagement zone into your retreat strategy. This could be a stairwell that leads up or downstairs. If your enemies choose to pursue you, this second engagement zone can give you the opportunity to regain the momentum of the battle. No matter what, your plan should end with total abandonment of your location. This is the last resort, but sometimes it becomes more advantageous to flee and fight another day than to risk being annihilated.

Defensive operations give you a strong advantage over the assaulting element, though they are not foolproof. Never underestimate your enemy, because it can be a fatal mistake. Assume that they are going to overcome every threat, and this allows you to more realistic in preparing your defenses. Thanks for reading, and check back on Thursday for a Survival Prepper post on wildlife trapping techniques. Don’t forget to subscribe, and Stay Ready.

—Support Survival Prepper by Subscribing

My name is Steven Capps, and I have a B.A. in English from the American Military University. My writing has been featured in Fiction, The Bird & Dog, Survival Sullivan, The Cass County Star Gazette, and many others. I currently serve as an Infantry Sergeant in the U.S. Army National Guard.