Check Your Six

Look behind you - check your six Two guys who really need to check their sixes.
Look behind you - check your six

Two guys who really need to check their sixes.

Are you aware of your environment? Do you check your six? What does that even mean? I’ll get to that in a moment.

During the coming week, work on your environmental awareness, or situational awareness as it’s more often called. When you walk into a store or coffee shop, survey the scene. Make a note of who is standing where.

Does anyone look suspicious? How would you know? Well, we all have an internal radar, but we often don’t pay attention to it. Sometimes that radar says, “Something about this person is off.” That doesn’t mean they’re about to rob the place. Just that they might be latently dangerous.

Note the exits. In particular, if there’s a building that you spend a lot of time in, you should know where all the exits are located. Do the windows open? Are the back doors locked?

In military parlance, the point directly in front of you is 12 o’clock, and behind you is six o’clock. Soldiers on patrol (and fighter pilots as well) are reminded to “check their sixes”, meaning be aware of what’s behind them. In civilian language, look behind you.

So when you’re walking down the street this week (or the mall, or the park), check your six. Look behind you now and then. Look across the street. Check windows for reflections. Give recessed doorways and alleyways a berth.

There doesn’t have to be any anxiety or nervousness associated with this process. Think of it simply as a way of observing more of the world and thereby enhancing your experience of the moment.

1 Comment

  1. We have memories of all that surround us, but not consciously, to be conscious in the here and now takes its effort but as you said will be more effective the training if it is done in a relaxed way.

    Thank you for reminding me of this important issue.

    María

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