By Brian Duff |
OODA Loop? Is It Cheese?
No, it’s not cheese. The OODA loop is the brainchild of Colonel John Boyd. Colonel Boyd was a U.S. Air Force pilot and military thinker. His OODA loop philosophy helped fighter pilots combat their opponents better. It did so by helping them to out-think their enemies by using a systematic thought process.
Eventually, it proved so useful that it became a primary core philosophy of preparedness that applies to all aspects of life, business, and survival.
Security Guard Disarms Active Shooter
This video below illustrates what the actions of one observant, prepared and brave person can accomplish. In this case, Jon Meis, a Seattle Pacific University student security guard, survived an active shooter incident. He did so by, knowingly or unknowingly employing the principles of the OODA loop. These principles led to the disarming, pepper spraying, and tackling of the shooter.
When it was needed, Jon was ready and willing to take decisive and effective action. In so doing, he saved his life and the lives of unknown numbers of other students.
Preparing for a situation like this is not difficult. What is difficult is identifying the problem, or in this case the threat. There are far too many examples of people needlessly suffering because they failed to identify a problem. They failed when the problem should have been identifiable. Therefore, to not fail, start off every day with a commitment to yourself. You must commit to using your powers of observation and situational awareness to identify developing situations. Does this mean you move throughout your day paranoid and on edge? No, it means you listen to your gut. It means you take in the environment around you. It means you look for things that you think are not normal.
When you do observe something that doesn’t seem normal or makes your sixth sense poke you, you need to take notice. Taking notice means paying attention to the situation and what is happening around it. As you do, you’ll process the events and come to a conclusion about the unfolding situation.
After orienting yourself to the situation, you will decide upon a course of action. That decision may be to do nothing as the situation isn’t threatening or even an issue. However, that decision may be to get actively involved as student hero Jon Meis did. Regardless of what you do, make a decision. Do not stand there like a Lookie-Lou on a Southern California freeway. Make a decision!
Once you make your decision, it’s time for action. So, take action. When you initiate your course of action, do so with commitment and determination. Maybe your chosen course of action is to leave the area because there is no threat. If so, leave while committing to remain vigilant. However, if your course of action is like that of Jon Meis, to become involved, then do so with 100-percent commitment. Anything less than 100-percent commitment increases your chances of a less than desirable outcome. So remember, when taking action, be like a momma bear saving her cub: relentless and in total survival mode.
Survive & Thrive
If you follow the basic premise of the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act), you too can be better prepared to overcome difficult situations that may arise. By doing so, by noticing what goes on around you, making confident decisions and taking action, you will help yourself to be better able to survive and thrive in any situation.
Lastly, never forget, you’re just one prep away.
If you have any other information, suggestions, or thoughts about the OODA Loop, please leave a comment below.
Stay safe, secure and prepared.
By Brian Duff |
What is Situational Awareness?Have you ever noticed that some people seem to know what is going to happen before it does? Are they psychic? No, most likely not. While they aren’t psychic, they probably do have elevated situational awareness (SA) skills.
How often do you see people completely focused on and only paying attention to their smartphones? Are these people walking, driving, or doing something else with total disregard for the environment around them? Are you guilty of this? In today’s modern world, most of us are.
It is the rare person in today’s society who doesn’t at least occasionally plug in and drop out of awareness to their surroundings. Some are obviously worse than others. Unfortunately for us, Murphy is an expert in causing problems at the most inconvenient times. Because of our daily distractions, which keep us from paying attention, we are less prepared for the problems Murphy drops in front of us.
First Step to Overcoming Problems
The first step to successfully overcoming any problem is to recognize it as early as possible. Once an issue is identified, it is only then that we can find a way to mitigate the impact to us, our family, friends, and others. Without paying attention, we are less able to identify problems and therefore less able to avoid them.
Situational Awareness Methods
Business people use a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities) to help avoid pitfalls and capitalize on the opportunities. The military conducts ongoing intelligence gathering and pre-planning for a range of possibilities. Public safety agencies analyze developing trends and experience to prepare for the troubles they face. What do SWOT analysis, intelligence gathering and trend analysis all have in common? They are all systematic methods of improving situational awareness.
No Formal Training Required
SA is obviously not a domain isolated to corporations, the military or public safety. Rather, it is an essential skill that lives in everybody. It is the first skill and building block to mitigating the problems that all of us may face at one time or another. While not always utilized, it is a skill that is nevertheless there for all to use. As a skill, SA can improve through effort and training. No, it doesn’t require formal training. What it requires is for those of us who may not excel at noticing what is going on around us to pay attention. We must make an effort to lift our heads up, look around and take notice.
Look Around and Notice
That act of looking, listening and taking in your environment is called observing. When you observe your environment, take a look and see what is going on. Is everything normal and in its place, or does something not seem quite right? If so, what is not normal? Is there a car driving erratically and heading your way? What is that dark hole doing there? Why is the kitchen light on when you usually shut it off?
Engage Your SA
The scenarios can go on and on. However, one point holds true: The best way to notice potential problems is to engage your situational awareness. While that may seem easy, we are too often distracted by our modern world. These distractions inhibit our ability to pay attention and identify oncoming problems, but they are avoidable if we simply notice them.
Give it a Try!
So, the next time that you are out and about, try to focus less on the phone in your hand. Instead, pay more attention to the environment around you and truly observe. When doing so, you may avoid a troubling situation. You also may see some of the vast world that exists beyond the phone in your hand. Try it; you might like it!
Lastly, never forget, you’re just one prep away.
If you have any other information, suggestions, or thoughts about situational awareness, please leave a comment below.
Stay safe, secure and prepared,