Survivor mentality

Discussion in 'Special Operations Selection Preparation' started by ASUlaxman, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. ASUlaxman

    ASUlaxman Unverified

    Messages:
    17
    The other day in class we were discussing Aron Ralston, the climber who cut his arm off after a boulder fell on it and trapped him for 127 hours. My professor noted that he had a "survivor mentality," which he associated with a generally more type A personality and a thrill seeker. I'm sure it wouldn't be an easy decision to make, but when it comes down to it, what's an arm compared to your life? I would thank my arm for the good times and then I would sure as hell cut it off if that meant I could see my family again. I'm curious to hear different perspectives on this matter. A question to start it off; how do you think this relates to getting through a SOF pipeline, if at all?

    I wasn't sure where to post this, but SOF prep seemed to be the best fit.
     
  2. 0699

    0699 Verified Military

    Messages:
    3,334
    Good movie.
     
  3. LimaOscarSierraTango

    LimaOscarSierraTango Admin/Logistics Verified SOF Support

    Messages:
    1,249
    SSMP:
    Support Mentor
    He has the Warrior Gene.
     
  4. is friday

    is friday I'm a professional. Verified Military

    Messages:
    130
    I just did some arm amputation this past weekend to toughen myself up mentally.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Frank S.

    Frank S. L'homme qui rit Member

    Messages:
    749
    Ah but here's the "Sophie's choice" question: which one? Would it really be easier to let go of the weaker arm after all these times it spent 'fluffing' for the other one in anticipation of the 4th of July finish in a cotton sock?
    If you said 30% nylon, you're a sick puppy.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. QC

    QC 1 CDO Verified SOF

    Messages:
    1,792
    My rowing coach before a regatta said that you view this race like there's a house on fire at the top of a hill. You run to help, if you stumble, you walk, if your injured, you crawl, but you don't give up.
    There are many examples of pulling through, but IMO, the two for me are Sir Douglas Mawsons return trek in Antarctica and Sir Ernest Shackeltons aborted attempt, also in Antarctica. At best, it's heroic, but it's just staying alive. Best of luck if you're going for selection.
     
  7. ASUlaxman

    ASUlaxman Unverified

    Messages:
    17
    Those two expeditions make life seem incredibly easy in comparison. I didn't know who Sir Douglas Mawson or Sir Ernest Shackelton were before this thread, they definitely help keep life in perspective.
     
  8. JustAnotherJ

    JustAnotherJ Pararescue Verified SOF

    Messages:
    436
    SSMP:
    SOF Mentor
    When you get into a SOF pipeline, don't cut off an arm...push ups are harder. Seriously though, I see that whole thing as a complacent move that some never come back home from. Risk can be mitigated by a simple phone call saying, "Hey bro, going out biking/hiking/hunting. If i'm not back by Oh-Fuck-Thirty, here's the route i'm taking, come drag me out."

    I had a friends girlfriend go out on a hike while we were deployed. She got chased by a bear, was able to hide in a fucking CAVE:thumbsdown: overnight and luckily got back alive. She was dumb, he dumped her :thumbsup:.

    I constantly harp on complacency and it's magical ability to lull your senses just before it kills you. In SOF, complacency has NO place whatsoever. They say that hypervigilince is a trait of PTSD...I say it's a skill you attain through the practical application of the appreciation of life and death.

    Best of luck with your Ranger endeavors my friend. They're an amazing group of men.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  9. goon175

    goon175 Ranger Verified SOF

    Messages:
    2,010
    SSMP:
    SOF Mentor
    Survival is a human instinct (keep yourself alive), I wouldn't equate that with the same type of mindset required to make it into the elite units of our military, takes a little bit more than just the basic tools every human is born with, in my opinion.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. ASUlaxman

    ASUlaxman Unverified

    Messages:
    17
    Thank you both for the insight J and goon.
     
  11. ASUlaxman

    ASUlaxman Unverified

    Messages:
    17
    My high school football coach and current lacrosse coach always harp on attention to detail and doing the little things right like sprinting through the line, not cutting corners, always giving it 100%, etc.. I know none of those examples are even close the same scale that you guys have experienced, but I think it's all relative. It seems like when we do the little things right, the big things come with them. After all, if we can't fucking sprint through a line, how can we be trusted to sprint into the hole on a fast break? Complacency is laziness, I see it everywhere, and I could definitely see how it could harm the lives of other people.

    You'd be surprised how true this statement is at ASU. Well... Maybe not
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. SkrewzLoose

    SkrewzLoose Something Clever Verified Military

    Messages:
    3,805
    He wouldn't have had to cut off his arm if he had his swim buddy with him...:D
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. SkrewzLoose

    SkrewzLoose Something Clever Verified Military

    Messages:
    3,805
    That looks like an HBC from somewhere in the south. Certainly not Arizona State University.
     
  14. Tropicana98

    Tropicana98 Ranger Verified SOF

    Messages:
    219
    Alcorn State.
     
  15. IMTT

    IMTT Civil Affairs Verified SOF

    Messages:
    352
    Several years ago I read "Shackleton's forgotten men". I couldn't imagine what these men did, the bravery and hardship it took to complete their tasking. They watched their comrades die, covered hundreds of miles in subzero temps on foot, died and fought to overcome. The story and their mental hardness is truly unbelievable. I have read dozens of mental conditioning books and combat mind-set stuff but this hit home for me. I'm personal friends with the most well known authors on this topic in the US as well. We have had this discussion on many occasions we disagree on some things. I highly recommend this book and it is relatively cheap.

    http://www.toqonline.com/blog/shackletons-forgotten-men/
     
  16. ASUlaxman

    ASUlaxman Unverified

    Messages:
    17
    I just ordered it, looking forward to the read.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. RB

    RB Special Forces Verified SOF

    Messages:
    2,990
  18. ASUlaxman

    ASUlaxman Unverified

    Messages:
    17
    I've never been in that situation so I don't know, but his reactions seem like the only logical thing to do. That's easy for me to say while I'm sitting at home on the computer as I'm sure the thought process is a lot different when things start to go south, but why not give it everything I have if I'm fighting for my life? It was gonna be him or the shoplifter and he made up his mind it sure as hell wasn't going to be him. He never quit and did everything in his power to come out on top, which is very inspirational to me. Thanks for posting that video.
     
  19. Etype

    Etype Special Forces Verified Sniper

    Messages:
    1,088
    I'd say it takes the willpower to override your survival instinct. It's not natural to walk yourself to death, drown yourself, jump from high things, slide down ropes between 3 story buildings with a stupid amount of gear weighing you down, etc.

    Normal folks are admitted to hospitals for "exhaustion" somewhat regularly. I'm pretty sure a lot of us have lived our lives in this "condition" for months at a time with the only medicine being MREs and ORS.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  20. QC

    QC 1 CDO Verified SOF

    Messages:
    1,792
    At least over there you have toys to back you up, over here we don't. Turning up to an armed robbery with only body odor and bad language insnt my preferred way of working.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page