Situational Awareness

This is going to be unfortunately random. Some day I need to organize this.

I will use SA for Situational Awareness (or Situation Awareness).

Most of the writing (I’ve found, so far) on SA is for police work, the Coast Guard, etc.  However, I feel it is for everyone.

Here are a few articles I found on SA in everyday life.

An excellent article is How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne 

A pretty good article (on SA for everyone) is Situational Awareness – A Guide For Life – however it is a self-professed rant.

Teaching Situational Awareness to Kids at (by the “Preparednessmama”)





Articles on SA from the Military and Survival Literature

A very good article is this one by the US Coast Guard (it does explain things in general terms)

10 Ways To Improve Your Situational Awareness from BeSurvival

The Wikipedia article is a start but quite lacking. It needs to have more everyday examples and more ways to improve SA.

Related is the OODA loop (the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act) which was developed by a military strategist.

Who Uses SA

Here’s a start – a short list.

Wait Staff

  • Being aware of the waiter/waitress’s surroundings and the people make them a better waiter/waitress (thereby getting more tips and repeat business)

Anyone in a service capacity from the person who works the counter at McDonalds to the office secretary.

Anyone in ministry.  A minister is one serving.

  • On a mission trip.


  • Teaching a cooperative learning (or any) lesson.
  • Hall duty.
  • Lunchroom duty.
  • Running a football practice


  • Any position in any sport will suffice. Ok, for example, outside linebacker in football.

Concluding Comments

Some, but not many yet, of the mindfulness and living in the moment have not been emphasizing SA. For me, SA is an important aspect of mindfulness and living in the moment.  It will be interesting if writing on SA ‘for all’ increases.

I need to look up some scholarly articles on the subject.

It all starts with knowing which way is north and which way you are facing (the second O of OODA is orient).

I do think that all the technology we have is a distraction, especially a distraction to situational awareness.

I will end with something a friend told me that he learned in his military training:

“If your manual/map and your surroundings do not agree, follow your surroundings.”

Here Michael, of The Office, is not aware of his situation.