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Episode 129 S4-5

Situational Awareness


Special Guest:

Battle for the South Ch 5

L. Douglas Hogan

In this chapter of Battle for the South, Erika and Vince navigate the port town, trying to get to safety. Erika utilized situational awareness and watches the number of soldiers increase before the town it locked down. Here to talk with us about situational awareness, and how you can start strengthening your awareness muscle is L. Douglas Hogan, author of Oath Takers, The Tyrant Series, and No Light Beyond.

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Situational awareness is absolutely essential because without it you will become lackadaisical and too comfortable in your environment. When this happens and you are in a dangerous environment, there is a huge potential for mistakes to happen. These mistakes could cost you or others your lives.


You must maintain knowledge of your environment. Know the sights and sounds that are common. Know who and what are supposed to be there. Be aware when there is change so you can cue in on it and make important decisions. A rural environment is going to be much different from an urban landscape. Knowing what is normal for your environment will keep you alerted to any present dangers that have entered.


Cell phones are the worst thing for maintaining situational awareness. When you are looking at it, you become a zombie that is totally oblivious to your environment. Stay alert until you are in a safe environment. Then check the phone, put it down and continue on. Cell phones and texting also help to destroy important communication factors that you should be learning. It is important to communicate through language with people. Learn what body language and tone accompanies what emotions. These factors are key in being able to assess risks in your environment.


Situational awareness is a skill that is learned over time through personal or shared experiences. Try to be aware of where you are, what risks may be present, and position yourself in a safe location. Whether that be in a restaurant, on the road, when you are leaving a store, etc. Every situation you approach think through the potential dangers. What is the environment telling you? Is there a potential for a hidden circumstance. If you are unfamiliar with your environment, you must constantly analyze its features. Don't get too comfortable.


Once you begin to develop situational awareness don't get too cocky. Your confidence in your ability to analyze all of the potential dangers could cause you to relax and become lackadaisical. Remember that 10% of the population has the potential to discolor the rest of a group. They behave incorrectly and can destroy a good reputation very quickly. People will remember negative news more so than positive news, making the threat seem worse. Still this 10% does exist and you need to be aware if one of them is meaning to cause you harm.


A good way to raise situational awareness is by going hunting. You need to be aware of what is on the other side of your target when you shoot. You also need to know all of the forest sounds and if they are a squirrel playing or a deer headed your way. Stay alert and pay attention.


Another way you can develop your situational awareness is to put on your author brain. Imagine different scenarios. What might happen? This helps prepare you mentally.


Once you start to develop your situational awareness, you will find yourself alert all of the time. Your awareness muscle will be pumping at full power and your heightened awareness will affect you on a daily basis.


There are three levels of situational awareness. The white level is the first level. This is the level you are at while in your home or a safe, secure location that you know well.The yellow level is the next level. In this stage your alert level is slightly heightened. You understand that there may be risks around you. The final level is the red level. At this level, danger is imminent. Your situational awareness needs to be peaking.


In a SHTF situation you will need to maintain a constant level of at least yellow. Make a habit of constantly studding everyone.

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Battle for the South Ch 5

L. Douglas Hogan

L. Douglas Hogan is a U.S.M.C. veteran with over twenty years in public service. Among these are three years as an anti-tank infantryman, one year as a Marine Corps Marksmanship Instructor, ten years as a part-time police officer, and seventeen years working in state government doing security work and supervision. He is the best-selling author of “Oath Takers”, has authored four books in a series titled Tyrant, and is working on the sixth a final book of the series. He has been married over twenty years, has two children, and is faithful to his church, where he resides in southern Illinois.

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