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The OODA loop is actually quite simple in practice.
Situational awareness, mindset, and action, as I see it.
Action always beats reaction, no hesitation at all.
It matters little if you have 5 shots or 15. Rapid hits on target
are more important. Still, I'd rather have more than less.
 

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The OODA loop is actually quite simple in practice.
Situational awareness, mindset, and action, as I see it.
Action always beats reaction, no hesitation at all.
It matters little if you have 5 shots or 15. Rapid hits on target
are more important. Still, I'd rather have more than less.
Simplicity which we can figure out in a minute, but spend the rest of our days improving upon.
 

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The OODA loop is actually quite simple in practice.
Situational awareness, mindset, and action, as I see it.
Action always beats reaction, no hesitation at all.
It matters little if you have 5 shots or 15. Rapid hits on target
are more important. Still, I'd rather have more than less.
Excellent! :hand10:


Action always beats reaction
There are only two men (modern times) I can think of at this moment that bested men that had them dead to rights (facing drawn weapons), Ed Cantrell & “Jelly” Bryce (maybe Frank Hamer, although he did catch a bullet :wink:).
 

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some concepts can be overintellectualized. OODA is a something worth understanding and its not rocket science. Incorporate the knowledge and use it as a reference when making fighting decisions or don't. There are not that may ways to fight, I think it would behoove us to simply adopt a method, get good at it and don't waste too much time on the intellectual side of it. The hardest thing is actually coming to terms (mentally) with what you are willing to do in a fight. Many people "think" they are ready to fight but when it comes down to it, most are not. At the very least, it means hesitation and hesitation often means ultimate failure. I say this in a effort to highlight the possibility that you may be thinking too hard about the wrong things.

Fighting is primal not philosophical .. philosophy is romantic which is something that fighting is not.
 

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The recent book titled Your Most Powerful Weapon How To Use Your Mind To Stay Safe by Steve Tarani Chapter 6 The 90% Advantage gives an excellent explanation of OODA that I've personally read.
 

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The ability to be flexible in your thinking as well as your training can be the determining factor in who goes home.
 

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Complete misunderstanding of Heisenberg's uncertainty principal, thermodynamics, and entropy theory. A lesson in staying in your lane. Let scientists talk science, let combat instructors talk combat.

But good insight into competition- business, combat, etc.
 

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Refer to post 10, it's not just theoretical hogwash, the information is being executed/trained to advantage by our military.
I was a Navy tactical aviator, later worked in aviation safety, training and standards and even later in marketing at McDonnell Douglas helping sell fighter jets. I worked very closely with two guys who were well known authors on the topic of fighter aces and I read their stuff.

I never heard of the OODA loop that whole time. I get what it's saying. It's a theoretical description of what you have to do, but we had no use for theories. Someone presenting the OODA loop in a preflight briefing would have been laughed "OODA da ready room!"

And despite all my reading, I never heard of Boyd. From what I just read online, he only flew a short tour in Korea and never got an air-to-air kill or even fired his guns. That doesn't even rate a footnote in the study of air-to-air combat. I have talked to some actual fighter aces, including CDR Duke Cunningham and Gen. Shlomo Egozi of Israel. I've read interviews and histories of a lot more aces. They would have had no use for these kinds of theories.

Great tactical aviators talk about tactics, not strategies. They talk about the Split-S, the Immelman, the Lufbery Circle, the Barrel Roll, the Thach Weave, etc. They study the great aces, not the great theorizers. It's more like the thinking in "The Book of Five Rings" by Musashi.
 

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Discussion Starter #32

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A good, but brief explanation of OODA loop...We are all bound by it, whether we believe it or not. It is part of our thought process, and decision making process....

 

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My youngest is in driver's ed, and we discussed the OODA loop as it pertains to driving.

The "orient" phase is often the hardest for some to grasp. I compare it to driving down the freeway, noticing how others are driving and positioning in their lanes (observing) and then keeping my position (orienting) where I have the most safety and flexibility while thinking ahead about what the other drivers may do based on their driving style and lane position. I haven't yet decided to do anything, just keeping my options open while moving generally with the flow.

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Discussion Starter #36
He formulated the Aerial Attack Study, which would revolutionize aerial tactics. Part of this theory is that a pilot going into aerial combat should know what his enemy’s position and velocity is. With this information, a pilot can counter what the enemy was capable of doing and gain an advantage by quickly reacting. This study became everything the fighter pilot needed to know to be victorious and is now used for training around the world.

Boyd, along with civilian mathematician Thomas Christie, developed the E-M Theory. The E-M Theory is a model of an aircraft’s performance. The theory stated “an aircraft’s energy state and energy rate capabilities are directly related to operational maneuverability and efficiency in terms of energy-maneuverability theory.” Energy-Maneuverability – Mar 1966 Maj. John R. Boyd, USAF. E-M theory became the world standard for the design of fighter aircraft.

Boyd was an excellent fighter pilot. He was so good that he had a $40 standing offer that he would pay to any pilot that could defeat him in aerial combat in less than 40 seconds. Boyd could start at a disadvantaged position, and in less than 40 seconds, defeat any opposing pilot. He never had to pay anyone the $40.

In DC, he was tasked with applying his Energy-maneuverability Theory to a floundering Air Force program, the FX Program. His work saved what would become the F-15 Eagle.

With Colonel Everest Riccioni and Pierre Sprey, Boyd formed a small advocacy group within Headquarters USAF that dubbed itself the “Fighter Mafia”. Using his E-M Theory, Boyd spurred the USAF to explore a lightweight fighter (LFW) program. This led to the development of the YF-16, which would become the USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the YF-17, which would become the Navy’s F-18 Hornet.

Boyd‘s study of historical military strategy, like Napoleon’s use of maneuver to defeat his enemy, led to his theory on Maneuver Warfare, a military strategy that advocates attempting to defeat the enemy by incapacitating their decision-making through shock and disruption. Applying this theory, he collaborated with the Marine Corps to create a new tactics manual, which became the Marine model of maneuver warfare.

In 1981 after his retirement from the military, Boyd presented a briefing called “Patterns of Conflict” to US Congressman Dick Cheney. Nearly a decade later in 1990, John would be called back by Cheney, who was then Secretary of Defense, to help with the invasion planning of Iraq for Operation Desert Storm. Boyd was very influential for the ultimate left hook design of the plan that led coalition forces to maneuver around and behind the Iraqis.

Colonel John Boyd is often referred to as the greatest military strategist in history that no one knows. His work on the development of a lightweight fighter for the U.S. Air Force based on his Energy–maneuverability theory delivered one of the most important fighter aircraft in history, the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
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I'd say he was one very important military fighting strategist based on the above. His theory on OODA directly affected the development of some of the greatest fighter jets the world has ever seen.
 

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Sometimes overlooked is Boyd's influence on developing the A-10 as well. His E-M theory and being at the core of the fighter mafia link him closely to the men officially credited for the A-10. Boyd's grasp of inter-service politics in Tne Building helped guide Spey into accomplishing the unthinkable... actually following through with the Air Force's promise of close air support.

A worthy commentary on Boyd's "be someone, or do something" philosophy was published in The Art of Manliness: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/john-boyds-roll-call-do-you-want-to-be-someone-or-do-something/

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Look, I'm sure Boyd is great reading and I don't dispute that he was a great and influential military theorist. Obviously there are some fans of his here who think he is so great that they can't abide any criticism of him. I really don't care about him one way or another, but I do have to challenge some of these outrageous claims about him.

"...a pilot going into aerial combat should know what his enemy’s position and velocity is." For anyone who has done aerial combat, that is a "Duh." He didn't invent that. Erich Hartmann, the greatest ace of all time with 352 kills in WWI, basically said the same thing. Hartmann was a lackluster pilot until he figured that out, but it was long before Boyd.

The fact that Boyd offered money to anyone who he could not defeat in 40 seconds in aerial combat does not impress someone who has been there. It's like martial arts demos were the "expert" sets up the attack situation in a demo and he always wins. In air-to-air combat training, any instructor at Top Gun could do the same thing. And 40 seconds in aerial combat is an eternity. Facing an opponent who doesn't follow the rules is different. We did "Indian Country" exercises in the Persian Gulf where any plane in the air could "jump" any other plane at any time, no rules except for safety. That is a whole other ballgame. We also got chased by Iranian F-4s launching out of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar when we did reconnaissance missions off their coast. That is a whole different deal. Boyd had only a token combat record and that is the coin of the realm for real fighter pilots. Real world trumps theory every time.

Maneuver warfare was not invented by Napoleon or Boyd. Hannibal used it. Both the Soviets and the Germans wrote extensively on it in the 20's and 30's. The Germans' defeat of the Maginot Line was one of the most obvious examples. Churchill famously said, "Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter." Any competent commander, before or after Boyd, would know that.

Again, I have nothing against Boyd. I am sure he was great. But even great people sometimes get hyped beyond their contribution. I'm just challenging some of the more outrageous claims I have seen here, based on personal experience and citable research.

My larger point is not to confuse theories, strategies and tactics. All are useful in their place. But if I'm in any kind of a fight, I'm going to go with tactics. Theory and strategy will have been "overcome by events." By the time I think OODA, I'm dead.
 

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The unique thing about Boyd isn't that he understood maneuver, many others did and still do, it's that he provided a tool for getting into another combatant's head that's detailed enough to be effective yet simple enough to be able anticipate enemy actions with sufficient time to counteract moves before they happen. The basic concepts have been around since men first started hitting each other with sticks.

Everyone "gets it" eventually, if they live long enough, and many of the great warriors of old intuitively knew the same stuff; Boyd simply developed a frame work to help new pilots "get it" sooner.

One of the things that held Boyd back was his personality; his reputation for being a jack*#% preceded him, and that got in the way of being an effective teammate or progressing further up the ranks.

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
The unique thing about Boyd isn't that he understood maneuver, many others did and still do, it's that he provided a tool for getting into another combatant's head that's detailed enough to be effective yet simple enough to be able anticipate enemy actions with sufficient time to counteract moves before they happen. The basic concepts have been around since men first started hitting each other with sticks.

Everyone "gets it" eventually, if they live long enough, and many of the great warriors of old intuitively knew the same stuff; Boyd simply developed a frame work to help new pilots "get it" sooner.

One of the things that held Boyd back was his personality; his reputation for being a jack*#% preceded him, and that got in the way of being an effective teammate or progressing further up the ranks.

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I find the banter about theory vs tactics interesting. Tactics are based on theories that are then tested, adopted or discarded. Most of his theories were put into practice in his day, having been tested and adopted as the tactics they'd use to defeat an enemy.

We see the military, like that Ranger in the linked vid, believe in Boyd's OODA and train accordingly to get inside and ahead of an opponent. Marines adopted some of his work based on theories put into practice also. IMO, it's simply a road map to get proactive as soon as possible. Not remain defensive reacting to the enemy but getting ahead of the curve and making them react to you.

Now those navy fly boys may have never heard of Boyd, but Boyd was on a lot of peoples radar during a long career and had established himself as someone who should be respected and listened to and eventually many units/branches adopted some part of his theories having tested them in the real world. His record stands on it's own merits without having to defend it, but by simply stating the historical record including how many elite forces are still working with some of his teachings.

ETA,
When John Meyer, former DoD and in charge of developing building searches/assaults began developing tactics still used today, he took theories regarding 2, 4, 6, 8 man entry teams and tested them until the tactics were developed to where 2 man teams use certain tactics, 4 man teams use others and 6/8 man teams others. All based on original theories of what may be safest at keeping an entry member covered by another or their working to become a cohesive unit long before they were adopted. Trial and error starts with theories of how best to accomplish a task, tested and then either thrown out, tweaked or adopted.
 
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