"They can't understand why their parent organizations didn't better prepare them...

The Tigers Way …The reasons are many. Human beings have difficulty identifying and correcting their own deficiencies. They subconsciously try to look good at the things they aren’t. Where they suspect a personal shortcoming, they often verbalize its solution. Then they conclude that preaching a good game is tantamount to playing a good game. Societies follow the same pattern.” ~H. John Poole, The Tiger’s  Way: A U.S. Privates Best Chance For Survival


To make good decisions in rapidly unfolding situations, one must have superior situation awareness. The environment, the climate of the situation (friendly and adversarial), leadership and the available resources must be considered. Based on these factors strategy and tactics are developed to meet the unfolding challenge and attempt to shape and influence events in our efforts to regain control. Superior situational awareness, however, is not just about the situation, the location and your knowledge of tactics. It is equally important to know what you are capable of. In this sense, self awareness--an often forgotten attribute— is also a vital aspect of superior situational awareness and officer safety.

“Bullet proofing the mind” as COL Dave Grossman describes mental preparedness; is all about self-awareness. Self-awareness is developed first through an honest dialog with one’s self and an acceptance of one’s strengths and weaknesses. If we do not know our own hopes, fears, our prejudices, what motivates us and what are we willing to sacrifice or lose, we will be unable to get a clear picture, an orientation, of what’s happening: we may distort information due to our failure in knowing ourselves and our capabilities. Continued learning is required if we intend on survival and winning on the street.

Side note: Any book by H. John Poole I highly recommend if developing the strategic and tactical mindset along with the physical skills necessary to apply operationally, on the street is your goal.

Stay Oriented!