Mindset Rant - Entitlement, arrogance, and thinking being part of SOF makes you better than others

Discussion in 'Special Operations Selection Preparation' started by JustAnotherJ, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. JustAnotherJ

    JustAnotherJ Pararescue Verified SOF

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    To you hopefuls out there,

    I find myself, as a PJ Indoc Instructor, yelling at every class about their attitudes with regards to a sense of entitlement that they MIGHT become a PJ. Now here is my soapbox rant:

    The SOF Truths of humans are more important than hardware, SOF cannot be mass-produced, quality is better than quantity and SOF cannot be created after emergencies arise are all important, however, the last truth of SOF often requiring non-SOF assistance is where the "quiet professional" mindset comes into play.

    If you think that by simply attempting a course to become SOF makes you better than others, IMO, you need to look for another job. I don't want you here! That line of thinking goes hand-in-hand with the sense of self-entitlement that plagues today's "hand-out" society. Yes, we are aggressive, driven and motivated men that have chosen a profession within SOF, but that does not make us a "made man." The key word from that last sentence is "profession," meaning that we are professionals in that job. We need not gloat about achievements because they are in the past. All that matters are the actions we have yet to take. Complacency can get us, or our brothers killed at any moment, but as professionals we perpetually fight complacency and execute our training and missions with the utmost competency. Complacent individuals tend to think that if they achieve a different piece of headgear or badge that is different from most of the rest of the military...that they are a "made-man." Well let me say this, the only men who are "made-men" are our brothers that rest beneath headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. Their legacy will live on as "made-men" that paid a price that the rest of this pathetic and whiney society will never comprehend. They have set the precedent for the level of sacrifice that we all should be willing to pay.

    When you hopefuls get to your courses, remember that you are walking in the same footsteps that other "made-men" created. But that's not all... Those men had families. Sons. Daughters. Wives. Girlfriends. Mothers. Fathers. Grandparents. Imagine that they are watching you. What you do. How you act. What you say. Now imagine their pain and suffering at losing someone they loved so dear.

    Hold yourself proud, but not arrogant, and know that you are not the baddest mother fucker in the valley. There is always, ALWAYS someone better than you.

    Live as a quite professional in all aspects of life whether you make it through your course or not and you will be shown respect.

    /end

    I find myself dishing this out to men at my course quite often and feel that the sooner this concept is grasped, the better our military as a whole, will become.

    I leave this thread for the rest of my brother in SOF to offer their wisdom, but I will not entertain questions about my own course, life as a PJ, etc.
     
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  2. goon175

    goon175 Ranger Moderating Staff

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    Awesome words to take to heart
     
  3. JohnnyBoyUSMC

    JohnnyBoyUSMC Click, click, boom. Verified Military

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    Truly appreciative and humbled, wise words to take in, and will do so. Again, thank you.
     
  4. x SF med

    x SF med Special Forces Moderating Staff

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    Who are you and what have you done with JAJ? :hmm: I think you are a podkradle person...:-o

    Excellent post.
     
  5. lindy

    lindy Verified SOF Support

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    I was a PSG at BAC and had the privilege of having some PJ & CCT pipeline students in our platoon of 150. Those guys were awesome & were my go to guys. They were always prepared, on time, sharp uniforms, etc. I never detected any attitude from them and they were very humble!
    Keep doing what you're doing JaJ because it's working!!!
     
  6. Johca

    Johca Pararescue Verified SOF

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    That and because they believe they Atre SOF because they are going to enlist to be SOF and are a badas gammer they know tactics.

    Here's my PM reply to a 19 year old not even in DEP trying to lecture me PJs ought to be trained to do BASE parachute jumps. He PMed me this:

    My reply was:

     
  7. tigerstr

    tigerstr Verified Military

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    I am not SOF, but I have to say that this post is a piece of pure wisdom for every aspiring and hard working person.
    This is something even the most powerfull/ intelligent /competent of us should remember whatever the path they choose in life and for as long as they live.
     
  8. Freefalling

    Freefalling Signal Administrator

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    He's a member of this board?

    And BASE jumping for the military?

    Stupidest. Idea. Ever.
     
  9. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear They call me Mr Sunshine Administrator

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    Why I think it would be fine for SEAL's and Marines then they could be BJ qualified
     
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  10. lindy

    lindy Verified SOF Support

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    Next you're going to say that bungee jumping has no tactical use either!
     
  11. Johca

    Johca Pararescue Verified SOF

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    Not that I'm aware of. This was over on a forum catering to people wanting to enlist in Air Force to become PJ, CCT, SOW, and TACP. Who he is has no importance, it is just a sample of what I seem to be encountering more and more in young adults.

     
  12. Johca

    Johca Pararescue Verified SOF

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    Which is why the UPS logistics commercial gives me a thrill and desire to buy UPS stock.

     
  13. is friday

    is friday I'm a professional. Verified Military

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    Not SOF:
    A lot of the new kids that I receive have to be broken of their "I know it all" way of thinking. I've worked with a lot of Marines that, fresh out of boot, went to a Recon Prep Course before hitting their basic infantry MOS school. Of course they had this cocky "I've done it all" and "I'm so special" attitude. It was lame and belittling to the other Marines who had no interest in Recon, but were/are still serving honorably in other Infantry roles.

    Being a Rick doesn't entitle you to anything except: aquatic field conditions, high fitness standards, challenging qualifications, and getting chewed out for having long hair. Being an aspiring Rick even less. I respect a man's decision and dedication to undergo a difficult task... but I always tell these kids "You haven't done anything yet". Hell, I'm in the same position. I don't walk around thinking that I'm "the shit".

    I've been to enough courses and met enough outstanding Marines to know that SOF is not for everyone, no matter how qualified they may be. Some people are simply not interested--there is nothing wrong or shameful about that.

    It's just annoying. Completely agree with OP.
     
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  14. Freefalling

    Freefalling Signal Administrator

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    No worries, just curious. Danke.
     
  15. Brian1/75

    Brian1/75 Ranger Verified SOF

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    You know the arrogance thing doesn't just apply to being SOF. I know in Ranger Batt. and elsewhere in the military POGs are looked down upon. It's instilled in you the day you show up at Sand Hill. Fast forward to me being a cocky young Ranger fresh back from my first deployment, we get this new supply guy. Of course I'm a dickhead to the dude and I eventually can't even get some glint tape from him because he's supposedly all out. Lesson learned, years later I'm ready to ETS and I made good friends with those POGs over at PBO, come up missing about $80 worth of pouches, and they hook me up on the spot.
     
  16. ChaseCochrane92

    ChaseCochrane92 Verified Military

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    Thank you very much for posting this. This is information that should be natural to everybody but sometimes people like me need it to be spoon fed before we get the hint... if we ever do.
     
  17. Deathy McDeath

    Deathy McDeath Verified Military

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    JAJ, its been about 4 months now since you posted this. Has anything changed in that time? The students? Your mentality?
     
  18. JustAnotherJ

    JustAnotherJ Pararescue Verified SOF

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    I take a lot of time and chose my words carefully with my students to teach them this. My mentality hasn't changed, but I still run across the "I deserve to be here" types. They normally quit;)
     
  19. Deathy McDeath

    Deathy McDeath Verified Military

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    Interesting. You know, you can watch stuff like "Surviving the Cut" and something of what the process is like and how the instructors act, but to hear what they think and, more importantly why they think that way is much more interesting. Do you have any good stories? How did you come to be an indoc instructor? How much has it changed from when you went through? Any candidates (or recruits or whatever you call them) stand out in particular?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  20. JustAnotherJ

    JustAnotherJ Pararescue Verified SOF

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    I became an indoc instructor because I felt that I had a good amount of experience to go help raise the next generation. The Indoc course is always getting better. There are a lot of smart instructors here that have poured everything they have into making a quality product (PJ Trainee). It was different when I went through, for sure, but I'm not the type who tout's "rocks were heavier and everything was uphill" to the students, as comments like those have no merit and discount the difficulties that today's students endure. That, and those comments undermine the course as a whole and drive a wedge between old and new generations of PJs. Some students do stand out as stellar performers, but at the end of the course, they all are. The one's that I prefer to see are the ones with the ability to think outside-the-box, maturity, integrity and quiet professionalism.

    I don't tell stories that often because I do not dwell on accomplishments of my past. All that matters are my actions of the present and future. My faults and failures of the past are what I will talk about more so that others do not repeat mistakes that I made (i.e. Triple check your lowering line, on your rucksack, for rips or tears; make sure your parachute doesn't squeeze all of your water out of your camelbak prior to an extended ground operation).

    On a somewhat side-note: I do hear grumblings of students that the instructors can be dicks, but as I'm sure any other SOF member can relate, it is for the reason that we would rather be hard on our students now, rather than for them to go to Airborne/Freefall/Dive and look like a douche in front of other services. Freefall school is a prime example where our young 18-22 year old students are intermixed with seasoned SF/SEAL/Ranger/Etc. types that are not afforded this school at the beginning of their career and would not react well to a mouthy kid. I'm not saying that we hear that, but if word did come our way, it would be dealt with swiftly.

    All-in-all, the learning curve is very steep for PJ candidates/PJ Trainees in terms of embracing the mindset of a Pararescueman because they will quickly find themselves in a joint environment as a representative of Pararescue.
     
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