“Whenever I sit down at McDonald’s, I scan for exits. I look for reflective surfaces so I can see all angles of all those who come and go. I figure out who might be the greatest threat, and I think of at least two weapons within reach that I could use to defend myself.”

I’ve heard this spiel in one way or another from those who tout the “operator” card loud and proud, wishing everyone within ear’s reach thinks they’re a potent mix of 007 meets Bob Lee Swagger.

They might try and sound a lot like Jason Bourne:

Bourne: Who has a safety deposit box full of money and six passports and a gun? Who has a bank account number in their hip? I come in here, and the first thing I’m doing is I’m catching the sightlines and looking for an exit.

Marie: I see the exit sign, too. I’m not worried. I mean, you were shot. People do all kinds of weird and amazing stuff when they are scared.

Bourne: I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?

“Forever vigilant,” they say.

There is some truth to this. No doubt training in some of the most intensive SOF units in the world changes your perspective on things, all the way down to your daily routine and conscious behaviors. No doubt multiple deployments to a war zone can vastly change the way you feel about finding exits or locking your doors at night.