OODA Loop & Combat Mindset - Page 2

OODA Loop & Combat Mindset

This is a discussion on OODA Loop & Combat Mindset within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Gents- All very good Points! However since I have a good friend who can talk on this subject with more authority than most I will ...

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Thread: OODA Loop & Combat Mindset

  1. #16
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    Gents-

    All very good Points!

    However since I have a good friend who can talk on this subject with more authority than most I will post some articles from him on the subject. Frank Borelli is not only a good Friend but a fellow trainer. I think he brings a fresh prospective. While I have great respect for everyone who has posted on this topic, I do not agree with everything posted.

    I said: At the moment of truth you will NOT rise to the occasion........You will default to the level of training you have mastered.

    If I did not believe this 100% I would not continue to train people to FIGHT with a handgun.

    If you truly do not believe this then why train?


    The First "O" in "OODA"
    By: Frank Borelli


    For any contemporary warrior who is not already familiar with Boyd's Cycle - the human decision making paradigm - I say to you, "Go and study." First documented by Col. John Boyd (USAF Ret, now deceased), the Human Decision Making Cycle is comprised of the following four steps repeated in endless loops:
    Observe
    Orient
    Decide
    Act

    Anyone who has ever been in a fight knows that thinking and acting faster than your opponent matters - and not just a little. Veteran combatants have given testimony as to the applicability and importance of Boyd's Cycle. More specifically, they've talked about how important it is for every warrior to understand what an "OODA Loop" is and how moving through it faster than your opponent means you'll be victorious. In this series of articles, we'll examine in detail Boyd's sketch of the OODA Loop and all of the myriad factors he listed as affecting each step. This will be a five part series, with this article serving as Part One: The First "O".

    So I can hear some of you thinking, "Why five parts for a four-part cycle?" The answer is at the end of the next paragraph.

    Now I first learned about Boyd's Cycle from the more-than-competent instructors of Strategos International. When I attended their program on Low Light Strategies I sat through a section of instruction about Boyd's Cycle - what they called "OODA Loops" (said "uda loops") - and how understanding the cycle could improve our performance as contemporary warriors. Not one to take anything I hear at face value, when they said that Boyd's Cycle applied to every decision we made every day, I had to question the statement. Five years later I still haven't found anywhere in my daily life where I make a decision and it's not done through an OODA Cycle. Another thing that I learned from the good folks of Strategos International is that there is a third hidden "O". It stands for "Oh, Sh*t!" In the event of unexpected circumstances, most especially where a high physical threat exists, the leisurely completion of an OODA Cycle is impossible. What happens is that the subconscious mind takes over and we seem to instantaneously react. That reaction is the result of a subconscious decision based on the Observation, Orientation and Decision flowing from the subconscious mind. In part three of this series we'll discuss that third "O", how it completely alters our decision making path, and why elements of conscious Observation and Orientation are so important.

    On the surface - the plain and simple version - OODA is understood as:

    Observe: Look, listen to, feel, smell, taste (if necessary) your surroundings. Take in the data about your environment.

    Orient: Analyze the data you've taken it as it applies to you.

    Decide: Determine what you're going to do to accomplish your desired goal within the environment as it pertains to you.

    Act: Perform the action based on your decision.

    REPEAT

    As this is the first in a five part series on the OODA Cycle, we're going to take a more detailed look at the OBSERVE step. Using Boyd's Diagram of the OODA Loop (shown below), we'll discuss all of the inputs that he includes in the Observation step and the different aspects of each. A clear understanding of the minutia of each step in the OODA Cycle is required if we're to determine the most efficient training methodology for our contemporary warriors. As contemporary warriors ourselves, a clear understanding of the minutia is required so that we can determine for ourselves where we need to increase training focus.



    Boyd's sketch of the OODA Loop as presented in his summation of "A Discourse of Winning and Losing", which he referred to as "the big squeeze," 28 June 1995. From "The Mind of War - John Boyd and American Security" by Grant Hammond, page 190.



    In Boyd's sketch of the OODA Cycle, there are six inputs to "Observations". They are:

    1) Implicit Guidance & Control
    2) Outside Information
    3) Unfolding Circumstances
    4) Unfolding Environmental Interaction
    5) Feedback after ACTION (new cycle)
    6) Feedback after Decision (new cycle)

    Before I go further, it's important that I put forth a related hypothesis. It is this: "Everything is a matter of perception." When I was told that in 1988 by a police officer that I was training, I thought he was wrong. Truth is truth. Reality is reality. Facts are facts. Some things simply cannot be disputed. I was wrong. What he was saying was this: "The way I understand everything is a matter of my perception." In that, he is absolutely correct. Let me give you an example of what I mean so we're all on the same page:

    If you don't know how to swim and you fall into two feet of water, you may feel some minor anxiety until you realize you can stand up. If you do know how to swim, then falling into two feet of water will cause you concern about whether or not you'll hit bottom and hurt yourself.

    Now, change the depth: If you can't swim and you fall into twelve feet of water, you have an intense possibility and fear of drowning. If you do know how to swim then so what? You're just going to end up wet. The water depth did not change. Reality did not change. How it relates to you changed. How it relates to you is a matter of your perception of the existing environmental conditions. Please keep in mind, as we move forward with our discussion of the Observation step in Boyd's sketch, that everything is a matter of perception. We even interpret direct orders - unless they are specific enough in detail - so Implicit Guidance can be affected by perception.

    Unless we have had identical training and experiences, our understanding of another individual's perception is still going to be an interpretation of what the operator has explained and that interpretation is going to be filtered through our own background of training and experience. The operator's personal training, experience, life's knowledge, etc are all items that we cannot begin to truly understand. Further, in the atmosphere of physical conflict, we cannot fathom what each moment means to the operator as the conflict evolves very quickly until it is over.

    It is vitally important that we understand just how different a situation can be to different people because we have to take that into consideration as we develop proper training structures. Certainly the best we can do is develop training that supports the performance of a "reasonable adult" with a specific completed training regimen. Keeping that in mind, let's take a look at those six inputs to Observation.

    1) Implicit Guidance & Control
    Hmmm... can you say, "General Orders"? Standard Operating Policy, Standard Operating Procedure, General Orders, Personnel Regulations... they are all different ways of saying, "Rules that you have to operate under." No matter how careful the creators of these guidelines and regulations are, there is just no way that they can account for every contingency. At some point a set of circumstances will arise that will require the operator to interpret the intention of those giving the guidance for the purposes of control. How the operator interprets the intention of the rule / regulation is entirely dependent on the operator's background and experience and his perception of the guidance set forth.

    2) Outside Information
    What's a good example... Let's say you're on your way to a house to serve a high-risk warrant and you received an intel dump at the briefing before moving to the target. All of that information you received at the briefing was Outside Information. It was information you received prior to entering the situation you find yourself in, but that still affects how you orient yourself and the decisions you make. The reported presence of children on the scene of an intended target is outside information that you will filter into your observations before orienting yourself into the situation.

    3) Unfolding Circumstances
    I forget who it was that said, "No plan survives first contact with the enemy," but the quote is applicable here. The world is not a static place - the only constant is change. As you make your observations the things that you are observing are changing around you. That constant change in circumstances is something that you observe and have to take into consideration as you move forward in your decision making cycle.

    4) Unfolding Environmental Interaction
    As you move repetitively through OODA Loops and perform action after action, you will (hopefully) notice changes that occur around you as a result of your actions. Those changes are Unfolding Environmental Interaction - your interaction with your environment that unfolds as you operate within it. With every consecutive change you have to observe the change and take it into consideration as you continue through cycles.

    5) Feedback after ACTION (new cycle)
    Don't get this confused with #4. There is a difference. Let's say you take an action attempting to reach a certain goal. As an example we'll use the handcuffing of an uncooperative suspect that you're struggling with. Your ACTION, in an attempt to subdue him, might be to spray him with OC Spray (pepper spray) in an attempt to get him to obey your commands to lie down on the ground. The feedback-after-action you'd get would be his obedience (or not) to your commands after the spray. The feedback-after-action may even be whether or not he shows any indication of having felt the spray. An Unfolding Environmental Interaction would be that slight gust of wind that blows the pepper spray back at you causing your eyes to tear and your lungs to be irritated. One is feedback on the effectiveness of your action; the other is an environmental change as a result of your action. Make sense?

    6) Feedback after Decision (new cycle)

    If you make a decision to act but haven't performed the action yet and something changes that becomes feedback to your Observation. You may consider that Unfolding Circumstances, but Body showed a distinct FEEDBACK loop AFTER Decision but before ACTION. What could change between the two? As you make a decision - think of it as coming to a conclusion - it may change how you perceive your Implicit Guidance, Outside Information, Unfolding Circumstances or Unfolding Environmental Interaction. Let me express this as an equation below:



    You can see in this equation that the Decision Feedback added to the first Observation Sum caused a change in perception that altered the values in the second Observation Sum resulting in a different Decision and Action.



    So you can see that, with each consecutive OODA Loop cycled, the Observation portion can - and indeed must - change. Further, we can recognize that no matter how detailed and static each of the six items might seem to be, they are in reality quite fluid and virtually all conform to the perception of the person experiencing the OODA Cycle.

    In Part Two of this series, we'll take a detailed look at Orientation and all of the myriad pieces Boyd included in this step.


  2. #17
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    To read more great articles By: Frank Borelli or order any of his books check out his web site:

    BORELLI CONSULTING: Recommended Reading


    Tom Perroni

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