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Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps' Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  436 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
"At a time when we must adapt to the changing character of conflict, this is a serious book on a serious issue that can give us the edge we need.”

—General James Mattis, USMC, Ret.

"Left of Bang offers a crisp lesson in survival in which Van Horne and Riley affirm a compelling truth: It's better to detect sinister intentions early than respond to violent actions late. Left
Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published June 18th 2014 by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (first published June 17th 2014)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 19, 2016 Dale rated it it was amazing
This is the best book on situational awareness I have ever read.

Left of Bang details the Marine Corps' Combat Hunter programs methods, which were developed to get Marines being deployed in the Middle East "left of bang," able to recognize and respond to events based on non-verbal and environmental signals.

Left of Bang takes tons of research in the field and turns it into something that anybody can use to assess what is going on around them, and take action if needed, which can range from the t
Jan 01, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing
For fans of the Gift of Fear, this is a must read.
It's a detailed expansion of the premises outlined in that book. A substantial, thoughtful expansion and based on the program delineated for Marines.

I believe this is a book that should be read by everyone in the military or law enforcement (I can say that confidently, but not being involved in either) - but it's a strong must read for civilians with an interest in the topic.

The book is well, written, clear, and provides a outstanding conceptua
Peter Bradley
May 01, 2016 Peter Bradley rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
My Amazon review -

There is a lot of value in this book. Foremost, the authors remind everyone to stay alert. Look for anomalies. If something doesn't seem to fit in, pay attention to it.

The other thing of value is that it provides a language and a heuristic for thinking about the world around us, particularly the behaviors of individuals from which we infer so very much while not being able to articulate why we inferred what we inferred.

I am a civil lawye
I spent a long time reading this as I did each chapter several times. That is how important and useful the material is.

Where I've done some of the predictive things with success I would have done better, earlier and more confidently had I studied this material.

I would have also owned the language to be able to describe the situations intelligently.

"Life Tool" grade read. Recommended.
Patrick D. Nolan
Oct 03, 2016 Patrick D. Nolan rated it it was amazing
Enhancing your situational awareness and decision-making to avoid victimization!

Essential for anyone who carries a firearm. It gives you tools for exercising your "gift of fear," and avoiding and or surviving a "low probability high consequence" negative event.
Nic Wennen
Sep 20, 2016 Nic Wennen rated it it was amazing
There was a Sgt in my infantry platoon (USMC Infantry) who seemed to have an intangible sense of observation and knowledge of his surroundings. He had went through the Combat Hunter Curriculum with the Marine Corps out in California while with the active Duty component. He explained to us how to be more aware with a few tactical tips in addition to recommending this book to us. I jumped at the idea of being more aware of my situation and environment, and begin reading as soon as I could find the ...more
Ann Bridges
Sep 28, 2016 Ann Bridges rated it really liked it
Good overview of what our troops are facing with inadequate training, and the impact of our high-tech lives on people skills. This book describes how to better be aware of our surroundings, judge behavior, and assess risk, which has application for any person out and about, especially in the context of terrorism threats in malls, bars, and on streets.
Linden A.
Sep 23, 2016 Linden A. marked it as to-read
Recommended by James Long #IRC
Michael R Dechant
Sep 13, 2016 Michael R Dechant rated it it was amazing
Very good.

Very good book. I like the signs of three method universal application of the process. It's a must have skill now days.
Jul 26, 2016 Tuan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't loose your time or money on this thing. I lost both and regret I didn't follow the authors most groundbreaking advice "trust your guts", and leave the book alone after the first 5 pages. Yet I didn't, and painfully reached past the half still without learning anything at all.

First 30 pages brag about how great this program is and could have saved many lives if soldiers have had the chance to read it prior to deployment. Well, I surely pity these guys if they really have no clue on how to s
Leslie Soifer
Aug 04, 2015 Leslie Soifer rated it really liked it
I was impressed with the content of this book in how it encapsulates principles primarily for the marines but anybody who wants to be left of bang; that is aware of his/her surroundings, events, people, emotions, etc. to ensure greater safety upon his observations and make decisions based on these results. Combat profiling is the active term to denote such appeals. These principles have been based upon The Combat Hunter Course for Marines but anyone can benefit. Instead of letting things happen, ...more
Kisa Sandoval
Aug 15, 2016 Kisa Sandoval rated it it was amazing
Read it. Then read it again. Buy it on audible and listen to it in the care regularly. Read this like Jesus freaks read the bible, on a loop, constantly gaining new knowledge and insight each time around. This book might save your life. More importantly what you learn from this book might just save your life with out you even knowing it. You don't have to be a vet, LEO or gun enthusiast to get a lot out of this book. Even if you are completely passive and non violent improving you situational ...more
Anne Gazzolo
Oct 16, 2014 Anne Gazzolo rated it really liked it
This book should be required reading for the entire military, especially those on patrol, and for police officers and anyone in bad neighborhoods. It teaches you step by step and in great detail how to spot the enemy before he does whatever evil he plans, so you can react 'left of bang' instead of being 'right' of it after the bang has gone off - the IED exploding, the robbery, the rape, whatever. Read this now! The life you save may be your own!! I am not kidding. It is that good and that vital ...more
May 17, 2016 Donna rated it liked it
Though written specifially for the military and police, many of the concepts taught here are relevant for everyone. "Bang" is when bad stuff happens. The idea is to be on the "left" side or learn to recognize indicators in a situation BEFORE it happens. There were some really good ideas in the book: recognizing observable signs, establishing a baseline (what's normal for the situation), how to recognize anomalies (stuff that doesn't belong), how to be proactive instead of reactive. Good book.
Patrick Lincoln
Mar 25, 2016 Patrick Lincoln rated it it was amazing
I have been looking for a book that really broke down situational awareness. This book was an amazing read and the steps and lessons in the book are easily employed into everyday life. The best part was he way the book broke down body language so that it was easy to understand. Because of this, it will be easier to look for certain things in a person's body language. This is a great read or anyone that wants to know how to become more aware of their surroundings and make themselves safer
Valeer Damen
Apr 03, 2015 Valeer Damen rated it liked it
Making explicit the ways you can measure up situations along defined axes, the idea of the bias for action and the types of behaviour to look for were interesting. The constant self-congratulating was a bit annoying. Need to try the techniques out for real a bit more to see if rationalising things this way is more effective than going with gut feeling.
Neil Hawkins
Jan 08, 2015 Neil Hawkins rated it really liked it
This book provides an excellent insight into the mindset of the combat profiler, it should be essential reading for any law enforcement or military personnel, but it also provides useful clues that anyone can use to improve their safety.

I read the Kindle version and the formatting left a bit to be desired, but the content is well laid out and easy to assimilate. thoroughly recommended.
Jan 26, 2016 Matt rated it did not like it
This book is for people who never took Psychology 101, for people who have a tendency to walk around in crowds with their head up their own ass, and for the blowhard wannabe Marine looking for terrorists on the streets of bumbfuck Idaho.

At one point the author actually writes the sentence "Aggressive people, are more likely to commit aggressive actions." Well no shit.

William Tarbush
Feb 04, 2016 William Tarbush rated it it was amazing
Great book on combat profiling

Besides H. John Poole's The Tiger's Way and other works, I would highly recommend few books to every Service member. That has changed with this book. These are practices that could be used by anyone, civilian or serviceman, to survive and stay Left of Bang.
Feb 19, 2016 Vojtech rated it liked it
An interesting book, though not so much for the regular person. You will get most out of it if you are in the military and about to be deployed in a warzone. For the rest of us, there still are interesting methods for how to avoid unnecessary problems and confrontations. The book seems heavy on tables and figures, so I recommend you to skip the audio version.
Clint Long
Feb 17, 2015 Clint Long rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This could be the most important book you could read if deploying to a conflict zone. I wish it would have been around before my deployments. It is also relevant to law enforcement during their day to day neighborhood patrols.
James Wirrell
Mar 06, 2016 James Wirrell rated it it was amazing
This is a great introduction to situational awareness, outlining the basics and covering the things to keep watch for. Being just a single book, it is necessarily only an introduction but well worth reading as it is useful for anybody who wants to spot problems before they become deadly.
James T. Roberts II
Jan 09, 2016 James T. Roberts II rated it it was amazing
A must read the alert citizen.

The process of the combat hunter is applicable in everyday life on the street, a business or certainly combat. I can only imagine the outcome for the French attacks had there been a trained hunter present.
Eric Molicki
Oct 21, 2016 Eric Molicki rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book that anyone and everyone should read. Gives a scientific and experientially based paradigm on situational awareness that allows you to accurately profile behavior for warning signs. Required reading in our house.
Amanda Guthrie
Dec 21, 2015 Amanda Guthrie rated it it was amazing
Excellent information. Easy read

This book allows individuals to grasp some of the fundamental s needed on protecting ones self good info recommend using as a reference while learning the skills discussed
Kevin Halleran
Dec 06, 2015 Kevin Halleran rated it it was amazing
Must read for any Soldier or Marine

This book fills the gap in situational awareness training left by basic training. Careful study of the material will make a more lethal and survivable warrior.
Aug 11, 2015 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about behavioral profiling to identify threats based on physiology, proxemics, body language, etc. I put these into practice and within a few minutes witnessed a shoplifter in action, right under the noses of dozens of people.
Jan 06, 2016 Curtismchale rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book I want to get a course

The only draw back to this book is the lack of an available course for civilians to take to raise their situational awareness and practice what has been learned here.
John Waldrip
Jan 19, 2016 John Waldrip rated it really liked it
Excellent for everyone anticipating combat, law enforcement, or security work. A good read to enhance personal safety and to improve observational skills.
Bernard Hogancamp
Dec 13, 2014 Bernard Hogancamp rated it it was amazing
Must read for new LEOs

Vital information for anyone who wants to understand how behavior informs and how human nature can help predict future conduct.
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“Gary Klein is a renowned and expert researcher on decision-making and cites the following aspects that experts have the ability to see which novices do not.196 1. Experts see patterns that novices do not detect. 2. Experts see anomalies—events that did not happen. 3. Experts see the big picture (situational awareness). 4. Experts create opportunities and improvisations. 5. Experts have the ability to predict future events using their previous experiences. 6. Experts see differences too small for novices to detect. 7. Experts know their own limitations. With an understanding of the differences between the experienced and the novice, we can begin to design a plan to overcome the shortfalls. Fortunately, understanding that it isn’t a “matter of intelligence, but a matter of experience” means that we can systematically set about gaining the experience necessary.” 1 likes
“Intuition is nothing more than a person’s sense about a situation influenced by experience and knowledge.” 0 likes
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