A passion for understanding complexity, connections, influence, and insight…

“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.”   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

During my multiple careers I always ended up coming back to an underlying connection-understanding; how one thinks and looks at complex and interconnected problems is a defining constraint of evolving insight and solutions. Put another way, is that when one fails to see the interconnectedness, it ensures a level of failure, either in the moment or the future. Better said by Leonardo da Vinci, (if we could) “Learn how to see. (we would) Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

I started looking at how people think and view the world with my first major in philosophy. I then looked at the interconnections of areas such as counterterrorism and motivators with my master studies. Ultimately, I studied public policy, visualization decision-making within business, and how people process information coming to decisions.

This ultimately led me to my postdoctoral research area, which focuses on sense making and its influence on decision-making. In today’s complex world, we need thinkers who can empathize with diverse perspectives and who are comfortable with uncertainty while still balancing it with the need to act and move through a problem.

I have lived in both the operator and Intell world; throughout it all, I have seen how it all comes back to sensemaking and that moment of insight that precedes the decision. This space of insight into a decision is a rich and exciting research area. If one adds the human-in-the-loop dimension (heuristics), it becomes even more interesting and relevant.  Yet, with complexity, each problem is novel, and there are ways and best practices to build shared understanding and resilience for the next problem… Which is always on the horizon.

Dr. Black is President of Aragon National Inc., a consulting business founded in 2011 specializing in a systems approach, insight generation, sense making, decision making, and related research. A Doctoral researcher and Expert witness for police practices, excessive force, and self-defense looking at complexity, systems, and insight generation that influence law enforcement decisions. He also assist in bringing insight to humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR), and stabilization operations.

Retired Lieutenant with 23+ years of law enforcement experience, to include command level, within law enforcement (Patrol, Investigations, Corrections, & Training). Specialty areas include mental health response, long-term strategies, crisis negotiations, intelligence teams, mobile response teams, and Use of Force (UoF) reporting, policy, and accountability. Extensive experience with administrative reviews involving Use of Force (UoF) and officer malfeasance. Nationally recognized Expert witness in federal and state courts for police practices, police training, officer-involved shootings, corrections UoF, and administrative review practices.

Retired Sergeant Major (SGM) with 30+ years of expertise with military special operations (US Army Special Forces, Civil Affairs, Psychological Operations), Civil Intelligence, and national-level operations. Senior trainer, instructor, and mentor in subject areas ranging from critical thinking, leadership, intelligence analysis, and decision-making. SGM Black has deployed throughout multiple theaters during his time as a special operator. His assignments include the gamut of Team member, Senior instructor, Senior advisor, planner, evaluator, Team Sgt., first Sgt., embassy liaison, and operation Sergeant Major. He has served in both unclassified and classified operations.

Specialties & Experience

General Specialties: Police Use of Force, Excessive Force, Self-defence, Police Practices & Procedures, Police Training, Internal Affairs, Policy, Investigations, Mental health-Police response, Mobile Response Teams.

Advanced Specialities: Certified Video Examiner (InputAce Examiner & Metrological Levels)


Specialty Focus:
Police Use-of-Force,Excessive Force, Sensemaking,Decision-making,Jail Operations Police Training, Patrol Operations,Police negotiations,Crowd Control,Systems Thinking, Officer-Involved Shooting,Intelligence,Internal Affairs Leadership,Police Mental Health Response, De-escalation,Incident Command,Defensive Tactics

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA); Business Intelligence-Decision Making Capella University
PhD (ABD) – Public Policy & Administration; Terrorism, Mediation & Peace Walden University
Masters of Arts (MA) ; Counter Terrorism ; American Military University
Bachelors of Science (BS) ; General Studies ; Liberty University