P1 First Person: Understanding the OODA Loop

Part two of a four-part series entitled ‘Think first!’ addressing a critical element of officer safety

By Kevin Jeffries, Probation Safety Specialist, Arizona Supreme Court
and Lance Nickell, Probation Safety Specialist, Arizona Supreme Court

Safety can be significantly enhanced by understanding the OODA Loop concept. This concept was developed by a USAF pilot and combat veteran, Colonel John Boyd. Simply put, Boyd believed that responses to threatening encounters could be broken down into four recurring phases: Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. Further, that the key to success is to speed through the process faster than your opponent, and to challenge their thought process by performing in an unexpected manner.

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