For a while now I've known that I want to serve in the military, specifically in a special operations force. Through extensive amounts of research I've narrowed my choices to becoming either a Ranger or SEAL. One of the issues I've run into as someone with no military or special operations experience is knowing which factors should matter and how much weight they should hold when deciding on a SOF. I could come up with a list of reasons as to why I would want to be a Ranger over a SEAL or vice versa, but as someone with no experience in anything I'm talking about I don't know if what I'm talking about even matters. For example I could say I want to be a SEAL over a Ranger because they have a more broad range of mission sets, an individual SEAL could do VBSS/GOPLAT missions, hydrographic reconnaissance, special reconnaissance, and HVT direct action raids all in one deployment. It all looks good on paper but how do I know as someone looking from the outside in if I really want to do that? How do I know that if I were to become a Ranger I would look at "having a broad range of mission sets" and laugh at it? How do I know I won't want to be a Ranger and live strictly in the direct action realm, be in QRFs, and do Ranger things? How do I know if I can be bold enough to take the SEAL Challenge because "I'd rather be a SEAL because garrison life in the 75th is tougher."? Or if I should decide to enlist with a Ranger contract because "If I were to fail selection for whatever reason I can fall back on Airborne instead of being an undesignated seaman." I'm asking you SOF personnel as people with experience what should be on my list of priorities and how should I rank them? For example I was just on Yahoo Answers and read someone wanted to be a Marine infantryman simply because they want to see as much combat as possible. In their mind (as someone with no experience in what they're talking about) that could be a perfectly valid reason to become an infantryman, but in hindsight that could be absolutely foolish. Or someone wanting to become a Pararescueman over X because PJs receive their EMT-P and they could be easily employed after their enlistment. I want to ensure that I avoid making mistakes like the person on Yahoo Answers. What do you wish you would've taken into consideration more prior to enlisting in the SOF you're in? What really matters? Thanks in advance.