There is no silver bullet. Try as we might, there is no single tool capable of defeating the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the battlefield whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, or at the National Training Center (NTC). No amount of armor plating or distribution of electronic countermeasure (ECM) devices will guarantee the safety of our soldiers and the freedom of maneuver of our forces. Old school thinking assumes that the enemy will be successful and friendly forces must be prepared to react at the point of blast. Leaders at all echelons who seek proactive IED defeat solutions should consider the following nine observations. Based on trends at NTC and framed by the fundamentals of assured mobility, they are a combination of those things that engineer units and leaders (as part of combined arms teams) do well, and must sustain and do not do well, and must improve. They all carry with them a consistent theme: skills and tools. These are the elements that make engineer soldiers unique. They are the special brand that are applied across the entire combat team by those whose principal focus from sunup to sundown is enabling mobility in concert with maneuver. They produce a mentality that resonates throughout the entire formation: We are all soldiers. We are not all infantry. We are uniquely skilled and equipped for some specific, challenging missions, to include addressing the No. 1 threat to the mobility of the force IEDs. We are combat engineer sappers!