Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nine Eleven: Situational Awareness

As we approach Patriot Day, 9-11, I remember what I was doing on that fateful day. I was at work on an Air Force base. That’s where I worked in 2001. That was also the only time in the United States that I have been in Force Protection (FP) Delta. FP Delta is the highest alert we can be in in the United States. Attack is imminent. And so it was. I’ve never seen a base get their aircraft out of the sky so fast. It was a interesting day.
We got caught with our pants down that day. I vowed to never let my situational awareness down like our wonderful country did that day. Everything changed on that day.
How is your situational awareness? Are there times and places you are oblivious to everything around you? Is there a time when you are defenseless? It’s times like this that I reevaluate my own family and life. Ever since I took a course from then Orange Gunsite founder Jeff Cooper I have tried to stay in Yellow.
White: Unaware and unprepared
Yellow: Relaxed alert
Orange: Specific alert
Red: Fight
This color code helps you to think in a fight.
How often have you been at a stop light and watched the cars around you. Someone is fighting with kids. Several have their nose in a phone (at least they aren’t moving). The same goes for other places we deem “safe”. Ever hear of a “green” zone in a combat zone? The green zone is supposed to be a secure area. Unfortunately no one ever told the enemy. The green zone is definitely more secure than the red zone. But if you lose your situational awareness in the green zone you could go home in a body bag.
Stay in Yellow. Don’t get a false sense of security because of the wonderful freedom and the rule of law that we enjoy in this country.
Situational awareness is not a skill, it’s a mindset. Being aware of your surroundings. Anyone can be aware.
I know I go over this a lot. My family is probably tired of me. But I fear that not enough of us out there are sheepdogs. I’d like to convert some sheep to sheepdogs if I could.
This Patriot Day stay away from large crowds. Ball games, concerts, malls. Stay at home with your family and remember that difficult day.

Semper Paratus
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