Situational Awareness Starts in the Home
Situational Awareness Starts in the Home by J.G. – Survival Blog
Most everyone tends to start life with very low levels of what is called situational or tactical awareness. These words are often mentioned in the same conversations along with the term OPSEC (Operational Security). These same men are wearing MOLLE covered gear talking about fields of fire. They might also include fatal funnels, eyeballs on targets, heads on swivels, and other tactical lingo. However, in case you didn’t know, situational awareness is for everyone.
So where do we begin with this discussion? I’m glad you asked. I believe that tactical awareness, just like kindness, should start in the home.
Mom and Dad’s Roles
My childhood in the 1970s and 80s may be seen as an unusual childhood by today’s standards. But growing up I felt like I had a very normal, stable childhood. I had parents who made a wonderful home life for me and my siblings. My mother was our nurse, teacher, homemaker, financial advisor, and life coach. My father was our PT instructor, outdoor guide, professor, and provider. We were not home-schooled in the current sense of the word, but we were educated at home constantly. There was always a discussion of what we had been taught in public school. Often there was many a correction made to what we had been taught. I guess my parents did this because they believed we were important to the family.
Children Taught the World Was a Dangerous Place
One aspect of my childhood that I believe was unusual for the time period was that we were told at a young age that the world was a dangerous place and that we were to be on guard against its perils. My parents taught us that if we were ever kidnapped that we would fight to the death. This may be partially due to it being the 1970s still heavy with social unrest and the drug fueled crime explosion of the proverbial Age of Aquarius. However, it was just as much to do with the fact that both my parents are very independent and deeply self-reliant people.
Trained To Use Knives and Firearms At Young Ages
My dad taught us what his father, a Marine, had taught him regarding using a Ka-Bar. We were instructed in the basics of vital organs and where to put the pointy end. He even went so far as to demonstrate the vertical strike severing the carotids through the neck when butchering a hog. He gave us the smaller Navy pilot knives that look like mini Ka-Bars to carry fishing and hiking. We were also trained to shoot before age five using a very small squirrel gun; it was a .22 Stevens Favorite. A few years later my dad trained us to shoot a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver. He let us shoot a few .357s rounds but mainly trained us on .38 Specials.
We were taught to fish and hike and spent summers in the forests of northern New Mexico, the canyons of Utah, and the pinion covered mountains of Nevada. Every outing was used to prepare us and arm us for life on our own. These activities built confidence, and confidence is needed to act in tactical situations. Even if it only starts out as the confidence to walk down the street and look people in the eye.
Family Team Meetings
We held family meetings every Monday that were about us. At these meetings, we discussed family issues and were informed about situations that were happening regarding our security, potential threats, family moves, church activities, job issues, et cetera. Yes, we were children, and of course our parents didn’t discuss everything with us. Even so, we were a team, a unit, and we relied on God, ourselves, and no one else. These family meetings taught us that we didn’t exist just to play with toys and whine about each other. On the contrary, we were trusted members of the family unit who had responsibilities and were expected to be responsible for them.
Operational security was also ingrained in us from a young age. We didn’t betray the trust of the family by discussing family matters with outsiders. Curious people’s questions were answered very politely and equally vaguely. It wasn’t their business. Family business stays within the family.