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The Power of Awareness: And Other Secrets from the World's Foremost Spies, Detectives, and Special Operators on How to Stay Safe and Save Your Life Hardcover – June 1, 2021
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"Some books are very entertaining. Some are very educational. The Power of Awareness is both, with a good helping of inspiration thrown in. Readers will find that Schilling's philosophy and methodical approach have applications far beyond the extreme situations we all want to avoid. His techniques make "awareness" a way of dealing with life, whether extreme or not."―Jim DeFelice, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“For special operations or clandestine officers, tactics, technique and procedures (TTPs) are a way of life and make the difference between life and serious injury. Dan Schilling, in an exceedingly entertaining and enlightening descriptive manner, provides rules and tools to make the everyday person’s life easier and safer. His stories, anecdotes, and lessons learned are as much fun to read as they are informative.”―Lt General Kurt A. Cichowski, USAF (Ret.), former CIA Associate Director and Vice Commander Air Force Special Operations Command
“This book is for all who wish to be prepared for anything. Dan provides information and exercises designed to build operator-level awareness and response. Whether for refreshing prior skills or learning to better protect self and loved ones, this book will save lives!”―Randy Watt, Former Green Beret and SWAT Officer
“Essential reading for anyone looking to navigate an uncertain world more safely, from dating to travel to your own home. Dan Schilling’s advice will teach readers how to stay aware, act in a crisis, and most importantly how to stay safe.”―Evy Poumpouras, former Secret Service Agent and author of Becoming Bulletproof
"In this gripping guide, Schilling (Alone at Dawn), an Air Force special operations and combat control veteran, advises on how to stay safe in the face of danger... Real-life anecdotes, such as Schilling’s actions during the Battle of Mogadishu or the story of a CIA agent being stalking by Kuwaiti spies, break up chapters and add a sense of tension. Readers will gain essential insight on self-protection from Schilling’s eye-opening manual."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“An empowering guide with the potential to transform readers' approach to personal safety.”―Booklist
"Schilling helps readers become their own best bodyguards and prepare themselves before something happens."―Library Journal, starred review
About the Author
In his 30 years in special operations DAN SCHILLING conducted combat and clandestine missions around the world, founded and then commanded two special operations squadrons—the second being one of America’s most clandestine special mission units—and worked alongside the CIA, FBI, and NSA to defeat terrorists as well as biological and nuclear weapons proliferation. An adrenaline enthusiast, Schilling is a professional demonstration skydiver, holds the Guinness World Record for most BASE jumps in 24 hours and is an alpine speedwing pilot. He is now committed to making the world a safer place through his Power of Awareness Institute. Learn even more about your personal safety at myPOA.org.
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing (June 1, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1538718677
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538718674
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.35 x 1.25 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #175,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The points where my own opinions and experiences differ from the author's are predictable. He tends to toe the party line of the US military profession a bit more than I do, even to the extent that he downplays the actual threat level in Mexico with inaccurate statistics and tries to dissuade readers from acquiring firearms and becoming proficient in their use. He goes so far as to recommend "mace and a tactical pen" as sufficient self-defense weaponry. For the home, his advice is "get a baseball bat." He also suggests (rather strongly) that bladed weapons are not effective self-defense tools. As a guy who has actually been in a number of fights involving knives as a civilian, I strongly disagree. Furthermore, the author suggests that LE will see a knife as an "offensive weapon." Well, having been in one of those fights when I came to the aid of 2 off duty cops, I will say this: neither officer attempted to disarm his attacker of the knives on their belts in plain view before attempting to subdue them. After the fact, both cops...gassed and dealing with the effects of adrenaline...said it was a huge mistake before I said a word while standing between them smoking a cigarette. I am quite confident they would not have handled that situation similarly if those 2 punks had pistols holstered on their belts. So this assertion will vary depending on the cultural norms, specific context, and laws of the region. Context is king! In rural areas and in the building trades, knives are viewed as tools which can be used as a weapon -- like a baseball bat or crow bar. Don't ever take a tactical pen to a knife fight! That's MY advice. Another piece of "tactical pen" advice? A tactical pen a) CAN get taken from you by security screeners (I've seen it happen), and b) is better than nothing -- a LITTLE BIT better than nothing. Ironically, the author steers readers away from knives by claiming they require a lot of expertise to wield effectively in self-defense, and...almost simultaneously...recommends the tactical pen. As a bona fide expert in the self-defense use of fighting sticks and blades, this stuck out to me as a good example of cognitive dissonance. A simple, "Tac pens will probably get you in less trouble than a switch blade in most situations," would have sufficed. But the pen is NOT mightier than the sword in close combat, I don't care who you are!
Those are minor nit-picks. The book is well written and the audiobook is well orated (by the author). I used both to "read" this book. 99% of the content is on point. And the book is almost as entertaining as it is informative. I've already forwarded my copies to someone else. So that's a pretty strong endorsement.
P.S. A retired SOF LTC getting his custom racing rig stolen while thrill-seeking in Mexico is probably funnier to military veterans than to non-vets. It's a great way to point out that a) nobody is perfect, b) no plan survives first contact with the enemy, and c) it can happen to anybody. So keep it light, my friends!
1. Have good situational awareness to avoid any issues is the cornerstone
2. Look at things from safe, unsafe, familiar and unfamiliar type. There’s a great image in the boom
3. Trust your intuition. Better be safe than look or sound rude