I loved this book! Left of Bang! How The Marine Corp Combat Hunter Program can Save Your Life by Patrick Van Horne is a fantastic, fast read. I won’t say it is the greatest written, but the program and the historical info on Afghanistan was truly insiders knowledge. The hunter program won’t save your life because it was made for military personnel on the field. (I think Gavin De Beckers books are more informative for saving your life.) However, the program can create a sense of control, ease, and predictability in new contexts.
Everyone can gain something from reading this book! Much lighter reading compared to the other books I have recently read. Despite the repetition of the book telling us that it was about the hunter program. This book was to the point, and fast to read. The material went in, and stayed in. (I like when books like that.)
I was amazed and intrigued by the amount of information on what the soldiers battled did while serving in Afghanistan. I’m typically not a “history buff” but I enjoyed learning about how they overcame the massive casualties of IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) explosions by developing the Marine Corp Combat Hunter Program.
Van Horne really made the information accessible to the lay person in any type of situation that gives them anxiety. My favorite part of the book was practicing the program in public places whether it was the mall, airport, or even at my church. He basically teaches smart surveillance. Also, when my husband and I watched, “The Hornet’s Nest” I felt like I had a working knowledge of the war in Afghanistan and knew what our soldiers were up against.
A tidbit of the program: First, you establish a baseline of expected behavior. Example: At an event or place, there are specific people invited, there is a dress code, certain things will take place during the event. You have to determine what is the “norm” for the given context and be aware of anomalies that stray from that baseline. If some expected things DO NOT happen then there is a negative anomaly. If something MORE happens than this it is a positive anomaly. When this happens the person “surveying” the area can make more educated guesses and anticipate change in the environment rather than be caught off guard.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting to have a certain edge to their environments, anyone who is traveling soon, and would like to better know how to protect themselves in new contexts, or anyone on any protective or military force.