Often times people ask about the meaning behind NS6. If you’ve read the blog before you might have guessed that the NS stands for “Nuff Said.” It’s borrowed from Stan Lee and Marvel comics. I’ve always taken it to mean enough talk, time for action. Let your actions do the talking for you. While this is a philosophy that I was raised with, it is also a nod to the Triple Nickles 555th Infantry Battalion who can trace their origins back to the Buffalo Soldiers 92nd Infantry Division. The 92nd was a segregated unit and the only African American unit to see combat in Europe in WWII. Their motto was “Deeds, not words”
Triple Nickle history
The 555th was the first test platoon of African American paratroopers during WWII. Instead of deploying them over seas, they used them stateside as some of the very first smokejumpers. I am proud to trace my wildland roots back to this incredible group of people. There’s more info on their history and organization here.
As a professional organization they’ve opened up their membership to all airborne military and airborne fire personnel.
The number 6 is near and dear to my heart for several reasons. When I was 12, I decided that I wanted to either be a smokejumper or helicopter rappeller. Eleven years later I made that dream a reality. Two days after graduating from college I worked my first day as a helicopter rappeller for the US Forest Service.
US Forest Service Fire & Aviation
Yep, that’s me in my happy place. All of us were assigned a number as a designator. Mine was rappeller number 6. To me the number 6 represents goal setting, discipline, and the determination and perseverance necessary to accomplish one’s dreams. We were given number designators in case anything happened to the helicopter. This way they could alert the necessary folks before the media could get a hold of and release our names (Sorry Mom and Dad. I know how you worry). For this reason the number 6 also represents courage, overcoming fears, and a willingness to sacrifice for others.
Later in life I learned that in numerology and several cultures the number 6 represents balance and looking at things from all sides. This fits in perfectly with my approach to fitness and training and also my approach to life. I train as if my life and the lives of others depend on it, because as a firefighter these things could quite literally depend on my training. Because of this, I strive to train the whole body and mind to work together in a cohesive fashion. Looking good is great, but in my life that means little if I can’t count on my physical conditioning when the alarm sounds. This philosophy also translates into how I train others. Even if others don’t necessarily face the same type of demands on the job, I still believe that their lives and the quality of their lives depend on their fitness. All of us can benefit from learning to move better, stronger and more efficiently in our daily lives.
As for the logo itself, it’s a kettlebell combined with a skull. There’s no mouth on the skull because it let’s it’s actions do the talking for it. The star is a nod to my California roots and the rebel bear flag.
So there ya have it, the nitty gritty of NS6. Learning, growth, and improvement are all continual processes, so of course there will be more to come.