II – Aware

Situational Awareness: Passive or Active?

Criminal investigations & intelligence unit supervisor Lou Hayes Jr. says: “When I talk with most folks about Situational Awareness, they mention phrases like:

  • being aware of your surroundings;
  • know what’s happening around you;
  • observing things that stick out.

These behaviors or characteristics aren’t wrong. However, they do bring out a certain flavor of passivity. It’s as if the person is passively monitoring their environment as a receptor of stimuli. It’s, in a way, a defensive way of opening oneself up to receive information, whenever that information decides to reveal itself. In short, information comes to you.

What if we looked at a different posture of situational awareness?

How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne

Situational awareness is the ability to observe your surroundings and make detailed assessments about your environment. One aspect of SemperVerus living is learning to hone your powers of observation in all areas of your life.

Situational awareness is another word for mindfulness: being more cognizant of what’s going on around you and being more present in your daily activities, which in turn helps you make better decisions all around.

Observe + Orient = Situational Awareness

A Simple Chart for Situational Awareness

The late Col. Jeff Cooper’s observational “Color Code” has been taught for many years. He simplified situational awareness into four levels of escalating degrees of preparation for readiness to overcome any threat. This system is a mental process, not a physical one, and should be used at all times.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Personal Defense ]

Col. Jeff Cooper's Situational Awareness Chart

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The 5 Elements of Self-Defense Law ]

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Invite SemperVerus to present its 5 life-changing success-generating components—prepare, aware, be, know, do—to your organization to inspire and motivate your members.

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Situational Awareness Skills: Teaching Kids Observation Skills

On The Women’s Outdoor News website, this article suggests using games to help teach children to be aware of their surroundings.

These games take place when were out-and-about, especially when traveling. My boys are 21- and 22-years-old, and we still partake in them from time-to-time.

  • Soon after being seated on an airplane, I ask my boys to close their eyes. I then ask them to tell me where the nearest exit is, and how many other exits there are.
  • Part way through dinner at a restaurant we’ve never visited, I ask them to look down at the table. Then I ask where the nearest exit is – besides the one we came in through. I also ask them to describe some of the people sitting around us.