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Slightly different take on situational awareness than Front Sight’s “color codes of mental awareness”:

First we Observe. Even though we process approximately 80 percent of the information we receive with our sense of sight, we can (and do) make observations with our other senses, as well. So this is a great way to remember to pay attention. Look. Listen. Be aware of what’s happening all around you. It’s at this stage of the process that you just might spot that creepy guy in Target.

Once you observe, you are now in the Orient phase. In this stage, you are getting your bearings, and you are focusing your attention on what you have just observed. Maybe that creepy guy’s gaze is lingering, or he might be popping up in all the same places you are. You’ve consciously made a mental note of that.

The next step is the Decide step, in which you have to make a decision about what to do with what you have just observed and learned. Should you continue your shopping and see if the odd patterns and behaviors continue? Should you go to a store employee to report the issue? Should you leave everything and walk out?

Finally, in the last step, you have made your decision and you will Act upon it. So, maybe you leave Target with your children and call the store manager from the safety of your vehicle as you drive away.

Source: Situational Awareness: Using the O.O.D.A. Loop | USCCA

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David R. Duringer, JD, LL.M, is a concealed firearm instructor and tax lawyer specializing in business and estate planning; licensed to practice law in the states of California and Washington. He is managing shareholder at Protective Law Corporation, serving Southern California from its Laguna Hills (Orange County) headquarters and a satellite office in Coronado (San Diego County).

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