A Letter to Our Weekly Profile Subscribers

June 22, 2023 in Updates

Hey there,

It’s been a long time.

If you’re reading this, you subscribed to “The Weekly Profile” at some point over the last 12 years. You may have read Left of Bang, completed one of The CP Journal’s courses, read one of our white papers or eBooks, or had our email newsletter shared with you. This newsletter used to be where Jonathan and I shared insights from things we had read and articles that we thought were worth passing along.

At some point, though, you stopped hearing from us—almost three years ago with this newsletter and about five years ago on The CP Journal’s blog. I’m sorry for that. Leading up to the moment I stopped posting, I had written a lot about getting left of bang, the security industry, and behavioral analysis. It was a time when my professional interests were shifting and I was exploring new aspects of service and public safety. And, what can I say, life simply gets busy sometimes.

The CP Journal never went anywhere of course. I continue to be humbled by the organizations and the protectors who are engaging with our content, coming through our online courses, and enhancing their observation skills in our Academy. If this applies to you, I owe you a deep and heartfelt thank you, as always, for trusting us.

This letter is about a return to writing and the creation of new content. My focus has shifted a bit over the past few years. Today, I have a greater focus on applying lessons learned in responding and reacting to disasters, attacks, and emergencies to help people and organizations prepare for those situations. I have things that I’m excited to talk about and share again.

If you’re interested in receiving a newsletter that includes articles and resources about preparing yourself or your organization for an uncertain future, subscribe to the “Paths to Preparedness.”

Thank you for continuing to engage with us here at The CP Journal. And, as always, thank you for the work you are leading to keep people safe!


Podcast Interview With “The Idea Vacuum”

July 5, 2017 in Updates

Recently, I had the chance to talk with Adrian Stewart from The Idea Vacuum podcast about Left of Bang and provide a few examples of what people can do to apply behavioral analysis in different settings, what goes into the four pillars and some other topics of situational awareness.

From Adrian’s site:

We cover..

  • the specifics of what to look for in people and your environment
  • how you can apply this in an office environment and beyond
  • what it was like landing in Iraq on his first deployment
  • what motivated me to join the Marines

To listen to the hour-long conversation, check out The Idea Vacuum and our conversation here.

CP Journal – February Recap

March 8, 2016 in Updates

We wanted to send along a brief note of thanks for the continued support during the month of February.  We had a great month working with our clients and also had the chance to present our ideas via webinar through our partnership with the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association.  We included some more highlights from the month below.

Left of Bang Update:

We passed a major milestone in February, garnering the 250th Amazon review of the book, “Left of Bang.”  In February, Amazon received 24 reviews of the book and all were extremely helpful in spreading our message.  Thank you to everyone who has let us know they have read the book and for those that have taken the time to review it for others.  We appreciate your support.  Here are a couple of recent excerpts from Amazon reviewers:

“I love the concepts introduced in this book. It takes some ideas that have always been fairly intangible and nebulous and defines them well enough for day-to-day use. You don’t have to be in the Marines to get the full benefit of this book. The concepts work just as well at the mall or in a business meeting…” – Verified Purchase

“10-years in the military and 10-years in federal law enforcement and I wish I would have had this book from day one. A very good read.” – Verified Purchase

“This book describes how the USMC applies behavior detection to combat. It is descriptive and instructive and after reading you will have a solid understanding of the techniques and how they can apply in your everyday life. Whether you are in business, law enforcement, military or any endeavor dealing with people you will indeed benefit from this book.” – Verified Purchase

CP Journal in the News:

On Thursday, February 25th, Patrick Van Horne was the featured speaker in a webinar hosted by the Boston Chapter of the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association.  The webinar had over 1000 registrants and a large portion of those that registered chose to join the session, which touched on the content that we deliver to our clients and specific techniques that anyone can use to help recognize potential threats.  We recently posted an extremely detailed recap of this webinar, with an included transcript and Q&A.  We hope to have the replay available soon as well.  You can find the post here.

Also in February, The Virtus Group added Patrick Van Horne’s WINx talk to their YouTube page, making it available for everyone.  You can find the link to the talk here.  Thank you to those of you that have reached out in regards to this talk and the impact it is having in the law enforcement community.

We also want to thank Robert W. for his review of “Left of Bang” on his website.  Here is the link to his comments and you can also follow him on Twitter via the link in his name.

As we mentioned last month, we realize we can’t always recognize everyone that has sent us notes in our e-mail (training@cp-journal.com) and on our twitter feed, we do want to take this time to thank everyone that has recognized us and the work that we are doing.

CP Journal Training 

We continued to grow our online training universe of students in February, which includes individual online students from the US and abroad, and also institutional level relationships with organizations that make our Tactical Analysis Program part of the larger training picture for new hires and existing personnel.  To those organizations that have chosen to train with us, thank you for making our training programs part of your processes.  We always invite any questions from training leaders and risk management professionals that are looking to implement a program like ours company-wide, so please don’t hesitate to drop us a line to learn more about options.

CP Journal – On the Road

In the month of February we were on the road a bit and got to see all kinds of weather.  While we are away we try to stay fairly active on our Instagram account.   Here are some of the spots we had the chance to visit in February:

  • Dallas, Texas
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Atlantic City, NJ

Thank you to everyone who helped make a successful February possible for us and please never hesitate to contact us directly if there is ever anything else we can be doing to better support you.


CP Journal – January Recap

January 31, 2016 in Updates

Thank you to everyone for the support at the start of 2016.  We often get asked to share some of our experiences from time to time and thought it would be helpful if we compiled some results from January as a way of saying thank you to those that helped us have a great month and also to share some of our experiences with all of you.

Left of Bang Update:

The holiday season brought added attention to the book, “Left of Bang”.  In the month of January, Amazon received 25 reviews of the book.  Thank you to everyone who has let us know they have read the book and for those that have taken the time to review it for others.  We appreciate your support.  Here are a couple of recent excerpts from Amazon reviewers:

“Good book, very interesting. A lot of stuff in it is common sense but it did make me more aware of my surroundings. Highly recommended!” -Verified Purchaser

“Changes your view of the world. All about situational awareness and picking up on potential threats. Awareness is the first step in being your own security.” -Verified Purchaser

“I was introduced to this book… and once I started reading it I was hooked. So much of this book is about communication – this is information that we ALL can use – to diffuse an angry customer, a mad spouse, or an irrational child!  Learn the concepts here – well worth the read.” -Verified Purchaser

You can check out more of the recent reviews by visiting Amazon directly.

CP Journal in the News:

As an organization, we were highlighted on a few websites that are viewed as valuable resources for many in our core client markets.

On January 15th, Tim Barfield Continue reading »

Thank You and Happy New Year

January 16, 2016 in Updates

With 2016 upon us, we wanted to take a minute to thank everyone that helped make 2015 such an impactful year for us at The CP Journal.  One of our primary goals for 2015 was to get the information that we teach into the hands of people that want it and need it to keep themselves and those around them safer in both their personal and professional lives.  Through our continued reach of this blog, our dedication to in-person training and developments to our online learning platform, we were able to accomplish this goal, but we realize there is still much more to do in our pursuit of eliminating violent acts from occurring.

For everyone that has spent time reading our blog, subscribing to our Weekly Profile via e-mail, spent time learning with us in-person, or trained with us online, thank you for your continued support for the work that we are doing.

2015 was a huge year for us in terms of solidifying important client relationships, making program enhancements, and improving the student experience in our online learning platform.  Based on the continued feedback that we have received from our clients and individual students, some of the goals that we have set for 2016 are centered around our commitment to continue to deliver high quality training to help you better understand human behavior to make more informed decisions, program content enhancements to meet your needs, technology improvements to enhance the online learning experience, and creating more programs that are tailored to the needs of the ever-growing list of industries that continue to look our way to help improve their internal and external operations.

Thank you again to those that have made this progress possible. We look forward to continued great work in the years ahead and, in the shorter term, continuing to work with our dedicated client partners in 2016 to help prevent violence and help people better understand human behavior.


The Tactical Analysis Advanced Course is Available

August 23, 2015 in Training, Updates

Depending on where you are in the world and what types of risks you are concerned about encountering on a daily basis, the challenge of recognizing threats can appear to be daunting.

  • Members of the military may be overseas and deployed into any country on short notice.
  • Police officers can find themselves in an unfamiliar area of town.
  • Executive protection professionals could be conducting an advance and doing surveillance detection in a country that they’ve never been to before.
  • Corporate security professionals may be preparing employees to travel abroad into areas they are unfamiliar with.

How does a professional prepare for these types of situations? Because being an anomaly is a relative term – for someone to stand out and attract your attention, they have to stand out from something – the most capable protectors are the ones who have built an extensive database of experiences allowing them to quickly realize what is normal for the area they’re in and the people within it. Historically, developing this understanding hasn’t been done in a deliberate or repeatable way. It has been left to chance and is often done without any conscious attention.

The problem with that unstructured approach to building a database of knowledge is that it limits who becomes capable of recognizing threats. It becomes hard to pass those experiences and that intuitive understanding of “normal” on to others. The result of an unrepeatable process is often one of two things. One common result is that people are unsure of exactly what they have been told because it wasn’t done in a clear way, which causes them to doubt themselves the first time they are actually consciously assessing someone or an area. The other scenario is that in the absence of valid pre-event indicators, they rely on inaccurate biases and subjective definitions of what the baseline for an area is. Naturally, neither one of these outcomes is desirable.

Until today, the solution to this problem was only taught to elite military and law enforcement units through intensive training seminars. With the addition of the Tactical Analysis Advanced Course to The CP Journal’s online Academy, the process to deliberately establish a baseline by reading human behavior is now available to all of the professionals who serve our country in the military, police our streets and protect us from attacks. For the people who are expected to be capable of proactively preventing violence, the challenge of being able to clearly define the norm in an area, so that anomalies present themselves, is no longer a hurdle that can’t be overcome.

With over six hours of video lessons and real world examples, the Advanced Course expands on the behaviors taught in the Basic Program to provide our students with the ability to read three of the four pillars of observable behavior and the process to establish a baseline through sequential searches. Following the lessons designed to teach the process and the behaviors, the course shows students how to conduct a red team analysis on your baseline so that you can look at the area from your adversary’s perspective and find the vulnerabilities that they could exploit in their crimes and attacks. The class teaches you how to figure out what is going on in the areas being observed and how to anticipate what will make someone stand out from the crowd, so that you can be prepared to be proactive against anyone who requires investigation or action.

According to many of our clients, the biggest takeaway from the Advanced Course wasn’t just the ability to make the observations and assessments needed to get left of bang, but also the newfound capability to clearly articulate and explain what led them to recognize someone who warrants attention. The way that you can learn to do this is by learning:

  • How to assess the collective mood of an area.
  • How to read the environment.
  • How to conduct a hasty and deliberate search.
  • How to think like the adversary to find holes in the baseline that could be exploited.

In the Advanced Course you will learn how to do these things while using real life events and situations to elevate your situational awareness to a level of informed awareness. Knowing how to look for threats and knowing what cues will make the adversary stand out from the crowd is what separates the professionals who are information hunting from the amateurs who are information hoping. The baselining process taught in the Tactical Analysis Advanced Course helps professionals reduce the uncertainty that is inherent in military, police and security operations so that getting left of bang isn’t just a tagline, but the new reality.

When you’re ready to be empowered to take control of your personal safety and shorten the time required to be proficient in analyzing your environment, make the baselining process yours by taking The CP Journal’s Tactical Analysis Advanced Course.

Start Training Today


The Academy Is Open

March 13, 2015 in Updates

We are proud to announce that we are opening a new section of the site today called The Academy. We began the process of testing our new Tactical Analysis Basic Courses a couple of weeks ago and, with the final changes recently made, they are now available to the public. Here is a summary of the updates:

All-New Basic Programs

The Tactical Analysis Basic Course that is available online through The CP Journal Academy is a new version of our previously offered online course. We have re-recorded all of the modules in the class and have created unique iterations of the course for members of the military, police officers, security professionals and those looking to ensure school safety. Each video has been shortened in length to a maximum of approximately fifteen minutes, we have improved the quality of the audio in the videos and we have increased the amount of animation in each video. While we have made a number of improvements to the content of the course, many of the changes we made went towards the goal of improving the aesthetics and experience for our students as they progress through the course.

If you would like to sample any of The CP Journal’s courses, you can view the first two modules for free when you view the class inside the pages of the Academy. For those of you looking for information on our Advanced Program, we are in the process of recording those classes as we speak and hope to have them available to you soon.

The Academy Platform

Along with the re-releasing of our Basic Course, we have also made the decision to move The CP Journal’s courses to a new section of the site, The Academy. Our goal in this transition is to make it easier for our online students to find the Tactical Analysis course that best meets their needs, to be able to pause and resume training throughout the course and to have the ability to track personal progress. While the Academy will allow for a greater degree of customization for students in the future, the move to this new platform sets the foundation we need to tailor each class to the needs of the individual student. This structure also will allow The CP Journal to offer a greater number of courses in the future all from one centralized location. You can view the Academy by following the link or from the option in the menu-bar.

The Training Center

With the opening of the Academy, we are no longer offering access to the Training Center for our students. The Training Center was originally designed to provide follow-on training and practice to our students following their completion of a course. The new courses offered in the Academy will offer opportunities to embed additional practice videos and exercises in the associated courses as they are continuously developed and enhanced. We apologize to any Training Center subscribers who will be affected by this decision and, if you would like to talk to us about it, please contact us right away. We believe that the Academy will offer our students the absolute best opportunity to master the behaviors taught in each of our courses.

The Book Quiz

If you read Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life, you can now additionally take a quiz to test your ability to apply the lessons taught in the book to your professional role. After completion of the quiz, you can compare your score to the other users who have taken the quiz on the quiz leaderboard.

We are excited to announce these improvements to The CP Journal’s online training programs, and we’d like to thank all of you who have trusted us enough to train with us. Your feedback has been instrumental in making these changes. We haven’t forgotten that and we certainly don’t underappreciate it. If you have any questions about the new programs or want to ask about bulk pricing, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

To view all of the changes we have made, both now and in the future, you can find them in our change-log.

Jonathan Smith Joins The CP Journal as the co-founder and Director of Business Development

July 23, 2014 in Updates


NEW YORK, July 23rd, 2014 – The CP Journal, a behavioral analysis training company, is pleased to announce that Jonathan Smith has joined the company as the Director of Business Development.

Throughout his career, Mr. Smith has held positions with Ameriprise Financial, Fidelity Investments and BNY Mellon, bringing nearly a decade of experience in sales from the financial industry to The CP Journal.  At The CP Journal, Smith will be focused on expanding the company’s course offerings into the private sector with applications to business functions.

“We are excited to bring Jonathan on board,” said Patrick Van Horne, CEO of The CP Journal.  “The behavioral analysis concepts that the Marine Corps developed to deal with the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan have incredible applications to sales presentations, negotiations, interviews, management and countless other functions. Jonathan is the perfect person to help us offer these concepts to that audience.”

The CP Journal was founded in 2011 by Marine veteran Patrick Van Horne after he saw the gap between the existing training that members of the military, law enforcement and private security received, and the threats they were responsible for stopping.  “Jonathan is considered a co-founder of the company,” said Van Horne.  “He served as an advisor to me for months leading up to this decision and the role he will play in our growth as a business certainly warrants the title of co-founder.”

About The CP Journal: The CP Journal is committed to making the world a safer place by empowering our nation’s protectors with the ability to identify violent individuals before they attack.  In addition to working with the military, police departments and the security industry, The CP Journal provides training to professionals outside of the security industry in order to prevent workplace violence, school violence and active shooter scenarios. The CP Journal offers behavior assessment training in-person and online at www.cp-journal.com.


The CP Journal to Provide Training to the San Francisco Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative

February 27, 2014 in Updates


NEW YORK, February 27th, 2014 – The CP Journal, a behavioral analysis training company, is pleased to enter into a partnership with Willdan Homeland Solutions and Sensemakers, LLC to provide training for law enforcement officers in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The training is scheduled to occur between May 12th and 14th, 2014 and is at no cost to students. The course is funded through grant money under the Bay Area UASI (Urban Area Security Initiative), which covers the law enforcement agencies and departments across twelve counties.  The counties covered by the Bay Area UASI are Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey and San Francisco counties.

The CP Journal will be providing the Bay Area UASI with the Tactical Awareness and Threat Recognition (TATR) Course. The TATR course is the part of The CP Journal’s Tactical Analysis ® program that provides training in behavioral analysis, threat recognition, and violence prevention to our nation’s military, law enforcement and the private security industry.

To learn more about The CP Journal’s training programs, visit www.cp-journal.com.

About The CP Journal: The CP Journal is committed to making the world a safer place by empowering our nation’s protectors with the ability to identify violent individuals before they attack.  In addition to working with the military, police departments and the security industry, The CP Journal provides training to professionals outside of the security industry prevent workplace violence, school violence and active shooter scenarios. The CP Journal offers their behavior assessment training in-person and online at www.cp-journal.com.


War in 140 Characters – New Report Available

January 27, 2014 in Updates

On November 14th, 2012 Israel announced the launch of Operation Pillar of Defense, a widespread campaign attacking terror sites into the Gaza Strip on Twitter.  The ensuing 310 tweets that were released over the eight-day campaign provide one of the first case studies in the use of social media communication by a national government during times of conflict.

Our report, War in 140 Characters, analyses how the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) used social media to shape their national image and country brand throughout Operation Pillar of Defense.  With an understanding of how it was used in the past, this report hopes to inform future planning efforts regarding the integration of a social media strategy into pre-campaign planning, the execution of a social media strategy throughout the campaign, and post-campaign follow through.

To download and read the report, visit our library.

Tactical Analysis Is Available Online

October 26, 2013 in Updates

We are proud to announce that our Tactical Analysis Basic Course is now available to purchase online.  This class teaches students how to analyze uncontrollable elements of human behavior and identify potential threats before they attack.  Whether your concern is specifically identifying the active shooter, ensuring officer safety, or becoming more effective in your profession, assessing human behavior allows for observers to recognize those who stand out from the crowd, and to prevent shootings and attacks from ever beginning. This Basic Course is the foundational course that the Tactical Analysis program is built from.

It’s All About Choice

We know that the professionals who make up the security, law enforcement and defense industries are busy.  Crime and war doesn’t take a day off when you want to go through training, which can make it difficult for you to take a day away from the job for an entire day at a time. By learning online, you are able to progress through the lessons at your own pace and at times when you are able to completely focus.  Each video and each unit is approximately 15 minutes long, allowing you to determine how far you want to move through the course each day.  The power of choice is in your hands when you go through an online class with the content as well.  It can be frustrating when you want to take a note during class or an idea comes to mind about how you can use something that you are being taught, but you only end up missing something else the teacher is saying.  By learning online, you can pause the video to take notes, rewind the video to hear something a second time, and pause the video when we are analyzing a picture to spend as long as you need to observe the behaviors being taught.  Because each individual unit is on its own webpage, we are able to complement the video lessons with articles from our blog that give you the control to dig deeper into the content that interests you the most.

We Owe It To You

We receive requests every week from members of the military, law enforcement and private security industry for classes to be taught in their area, and we hate that we can’t say yes to every person who wants to learn.  With the class being available online, anyone who is driven and committed to excelling in their professions can learn and not be limited based solely on their location. Nothing should prevent you from having access to the resources needed to learn to read behavior, recognize threats, and ensure for your own safety and that is the benefit of the Basic Program.

Click here to learn more about the class, see what other students are saying and to start training now.

Training Opportunities In Los Angeles, CA

September 13, 2013 in Updates

If you are in the Los Angles area, we have two courses this fall and winter being run at the LA HIDTA training center.  I’ll be teaching our one-day Preventing the Active Shooter course, which teaches students how to get left of bang by recognizing violent individuals before they attack.  Behavioral analysis allows trained observers to assess the nonverbal cues of those who intend to harm others and we do this by teaching students how to establish a baseline for the areas they visit and what would cause a potential threat to stand out from the crowd.

These eight (8) hour seminars will be run on Wednesday, October 2nd and Wednesday, December 11th.

To learn more and sign up, visit The CP Journal’s course overview page here.

Situational Awareness For Women – Seeing Personal Safety Through A New Lens

June 26, 2013 in Updates

Everyone has things that they are afraid of, or concerns that they can’t seem to shake. We don’t always have the ability to control those things or those fears.  For instance, my girlfriend commutes into New York City every day, using a series of mass transit stations that have long been the target for terrorist attacks.  Last fall, I watched a very public workplace shooting unfold on national news just down the street from where she works.  I also have a younger sister who lives just outside of Boston and who was at the Boston Marathon the day of the bombing. As we watch a rising number of shootings and attacks occur in public places that we used to consider safe, such as malls, the office, schools, movie theaters, and events, my concern for their safety isn’t going to go away.

As I began to look into what resources are available for women when it comes to learning safety, I quickly saw that much of the training was limited to what to do once an attack has begun: self-defense, martial arts, using pepper spray, or carrying a concealed weapon. Every “solution” that I found was a “right of bang” option. The fact that only “right of bang” options are available to women gives the impression that attacks on women are not preventable. This likewise gives the impression that the only way to empower women is to help them defend themselves once an attack has started. This is simply not true, and I personally can’t stand that answer.

No one should feel like they don’t have control over their own safety.  Women can learn to make the same observations to recognize threats before an attack begins that were once exclusive to deploying members of the military and police.  Continue reading »

Why Choose The CP Journal? A Letter to Prospective Students

June 19, 2013 in Updates

In the Spring of 2008 I was between deployments to Iraq and, in the interim, I was on my way to an eight-hour class given by a former police officer about how “Combat Policing” could help us while deployed.  The premise was very enticing – there are a lot of similarities between law enforcement skills and fighting a counter-insurgency fight, so I expected there to be a lot that we could learn from someone who spent their entire career trying to separate the criminals from the crowd.  I, along with pretty much everyone else in the class, was excited to see what we could learn from this guy.

Eight hours later, I couldn’t get out of the room fast enough.  I had just sat through a full day of looking at fuzzy, out of focus pictures, and being asked what we saw in the picture that should have alerted the Marines to something being wrong.  The pictures had no context, no backstory, and it was never quite clear what we were missing or even supposed to be looking for.  On every picture, the presenter told us not the method behind finding the anomaly, but instead simply told us what he saw or what we should be seeing, and why he was a great cop because he identified the problem.  I walked away not sure if I was supposed to be scared because without “22 years of experience as a law enforcement officer” I was doomed when we deployed again, or if I should be pissed that I just wasted eight hours of my time when I could have doing some actual training with my Marines. Continue reading »