If you can get accustomed to the idea that you are always being watched by a potential threat than you will understand why looking hard is so important. Looking hard is more than just wearing a tough guy scowl on your face, protruding your imaginary lats and wearing a Batman utility belt – with or without batarang (sorry Hondo!). What Joe wanted his Marines to do was to present a hard target. When he was telling us that, Marines and Soldiers were being hunted by a highly evasive enemy who could move freely amongst the local population. They would strike and disappear back into obscurity with little effort. Joe’s Marines didn’t have this problem because we looked hard.
Looking hard means expecting a fight. It means projecting a presence of dominance in all actions. It means being aware of your surroundings. It means presenting a hard target. It means owning your ground.