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March 31, 2012

Just by looking at Hands and Eyes

Recently, I got an opportunity to watch an episode of the TV program "One Man Army" on Discovery Channel. Four participants from four different divisions of security forces were participating in the competition. There were three different rounds; first two were elimination rounds. In the final round, only two participants competed for $10,000 prize and the title. It was one of its kind of TV program that I was watching first time in my life. Only after the same, I became a hardcore fan of special forces operators.

There were four men representing their divisions, including United States Delta Force (USDF), United States Army Special Forces (USASF) aka "Green Berets", United States Navy SEALs (USNS) and United States Army Rangers (USAR). Some of them were retired personals. Rigorous and very special training made them the kind of specialists that any nation could rely on for safety and security. The participant who won the competition was from one of the most elite security force on Earth.

Special Forces are true game-changers in modern world.

He shared a very crucial yet simplest clue they look for any offensive move in the super-critical operational conditions. For the special force operators (SFOs), every moment and movement is crucial for their survival. A tiniest movement can differentiate between intention of attack or retreat. Just by looking at hands and eyes, they have to determine whether the person is an attacker or an innocent, just within fractions of a second.

If a person is carrying or holding a weapon is planning to attack, its eyes and (both) hands give away hostile intentions. The person's entire (upper) body starts facing the target. The person's eyes measure the distance between the weapon and the target. Also, they monitor movements, position and size of the target. The person's fingers are kept on the trigger for firing rounds. Even if the person isn't aiming, fidgeting with weapon is enough.

Both hands and eyes work together.
(Image Courtesy:

Without indiscriminate firing or sharpshooting from a safe distance, special force operators are responsible in pacifying hostiles, saving civilians or rescuing hostages through armed combats with minimum or no causalities. They have to keep their senses sharp to collect a wide variety of nonverbal clues from all of potential attackers and hostile entities in their proximity, which can be both stationary and moving at the same time.

Only technological sophistication doesn't ensure the victories in battles and wars. Success of every special operation entirely depends upon accurately gathered intelligence, extremely high vigilance, extreme coordination and timely actions only. Especially, close quarter armed battles (CQAB) push any individual on the edge of survivability that needs sharp senses, snap judgements and quick actions.

Strong movement coordination and silent communication take place among special force operators through symbolic hand gestures, head movements, eye signals and facial emblems inside the operational area. More they could remain covert and silent, lesser opportunities attackers get to harm them. An element of surprise is the secret of success during special operations and guerilla warfare.

Minimum causalities and maximum surrenders

Just by looking at hands and eyes of any individual, determining hostile intentions, aggression and preparedness of the same is quite easy. That's the very reason why hostile individuals and groups are asked to surrender themselves by dropping their weapons and hold their open palms behind their heads or high up. It is practiced globally during armed conflicts.

Even if a person isn't carrying any weapon, tool or arm; the person's entire body unconsciously prepares itself to attack, hit and harm the other person. Both legs are placed apart, shoulders are raised, arms are flexed, feasts are clenched, jaws are tightened, gaze is fixated, nostrils are flared and eyebrows are furrowed under the hostile intentions.

Sometimes, the face of individual, terrorist or extremist might be fully covered or protected which leaves no facial cues to be detected by any observer let alone a well-trained special forces operator. Even in such kind of situation, only hands and legs would provide the necessary clues to differentiate between hostile or friendly intention.

In overall body language, both hands and legs provide the necessary cues of hostile or friendly intentions of any person who can walk on her feet.

Related Articles:
1) Observation is the key 2) Basic responses in stressful situations 3) Language of Eyes 4) Entire body can’t lie