The goal of Tactical Analysis or human profiling or predictive profiling – by whatever name you call it, is to speed up your decision-making process. If you can make decisions faster than your adversary, you will have him reacting to your actions, instead of the other way around. It is a pretty basic concept and discussions on John Boyd’s OODA Loop are talked about at all levels in our military and we are always searching for ways to observe, orient, decide, and act (OODA) faster than our opponents. It was in that search that combat profiling was first created – what characteristics of human behavior could Marines use to recognize threats and make decisions more quickly on the ground?
The way our material is presented, both in our classes and here on our website, is a generalist approach to profiling. Because it takes time and effort to develop these skills through practice, as well as the fact that we are usually limited in the amount of time we have with students, we introduce all of the key concepts of combat profiling and then provide methods for an individual to develop these skill on their own.
This is due to the fact that Marines, soldiers, and police officers will have to apply different profiling domains in different situations, so to not teach all of them would not be to the benefit of the individual. Also, I firmly believe that teaching all of the concepts initially is important; it provides the framework for future growth and understanding.
Once the initial training is completed however, there is no reason that we can’t provide more specific training to meet the needs of the operator on the ground. We believe that we can offer tailored instruction and go more in depth on specific areas of our course that are most relevant to you. This will help build the file folders that will guarantee your success and safety.
This is where we need your input!
What decisions do you think are most important for your specific job?
For example, lets say you are the point man on the patrol. Off the top of my head I would say that important skills for you are identifying immediate threats to you and your patrol (guns, knives, or IEDs). You are constantly looking at people and the environment and deciding if they are a threat to you or not a threat. In this case, maybe we reinforce key topics from kinesics specific to threat behavior, proxemic pushes and pulls that can related to IEDs, additional iconography explanations and discuss more indicators of negative atmospheric shifts. Spending additional time on these topics could speed up that decision-making cycle for the point man.
Lets say you are either the platoon commander of squad leader in charge of leading the entire patrol. If you are spending a great deal of your time meeting with local political and religious leaders, you are constantly deciding if this person is supportive of your presence, if he has information to provide you, is he in fact the leader of the village, and is he telling me the truth. For this audience, we may spend more time applying the concepts of proxemic pushes and pulls to a meeting setting where we are looking for changes in how a person is leaning, we may spend more time on facial cues relating to deceit or understanding, and open vs. closed body language.
If you are in a reconnaissance element who spends days observing a village or specific individuals inside that village from a distance, you are probably making decisions that relate to major changes in the town that would affect the patrol which is about to enter the town, deciding who the key leaders are, and identifying a pattern of life for the inhabitants. For this audience we would likely spend more time on identifying habitual areas and anchor points, pattern identification, key leader indicators and natural lines of drift. These specific topics could help you quantify and communicate the baseline for your observations.
The three examples above are off the top of my head thoughts and not necessarily the way we would break it down, but it is a starting point. We will never abandon the generalist approach at the beginning of training, but we would like to have instruction that directly relates to you and your role.
Before we can do that though, we need you to let us know what decisions you make. We will add in videos specific for your role so that you can quickly develop those file folders, ultimately that will help you recognize the anomalies that are going to be the most beneficial to you.
Post your decisions here…