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

JustAnotherJ

Pararescue
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
438
#1
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.
 

lindy

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
3,445
Location
On the move
#5
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!!!
 

Johca

Pararescue
Verified SOF
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
315
Location
Anchorage Alaska
#6
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:
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:

Like I said im sure the amount of gear you carry can vary mission to mission. So if a BASE jumping is the plan then im assuming the weight of the gear taken would be planned accordingly. I can take criticism but who gives you the right to call me untrusworthy? You have no idea Sir. NO idea.
My reply was:

Son, this conversation will continue to go poorly for you. It is between just you and I and face saving is not an effective course of action for you in this conversation.

My ability to form judgment is from my participating in performing Pararescue duties for twenty three yeaers and NCO duties for twenty years.

Untrustworthy is not by necessity limited to honesty and truthfulness. In the operational environment PJs, CCT perform duties in; trustworthy extends to being reliable and dependable in making sound decisions and survivability of self and others in the decision made of directing others to do.

Being trustworthy is certainly part of Indoc, certainly part of every course needed to get awarded AFSC, and once at an operational team your NCOs will be evaluating your trustworthiness for annual mission ready certification and for recommendation for upgrade training to jumpmaster, dive supervisor, team leader, and other mission ready duties.

NCOICs, team leaders, instructors, Flight Examiners, Task certifiers all have the NCO responsibility to integrity of not allowing an unqualified person to pass as passing the unqualified adversely affects mission effectiveness, operational safety, and the member’s wellbeing. I was not giving you criticism, I was pointing out the probability of you being untrustworthy for you to think about it in the making of your career path decisions. The Air Force needs people who can do the duties and be there participating in accomplishing the missions.
 

tigerstr

Verified Military
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
182
Location
ATHENS
#7
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.
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.
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.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
Administrator
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
13,018
Location
Not Afghanistan
#8
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:
He's a member of this board?

And BASE jumping for the military?

Stupidest. Idea. Ever.
 

Johca

Pararescue
Verified SOF
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
315
Location
Anchorage Alaska
#11
He's a member of this board?
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.

 

is friday

I'm a professional.
Verified Military
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Messages
140
Location
Camp Pendleton, CA
#13
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.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
Administrator
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
13,018
Location
Not Afghanistan
#14
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.
No worries, just curious. Danke.
 

Brian1/75

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
Messages
179
#15
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.
 

ChaseCochrane92

Verified Military
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
19
#16
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.
 

JustAnotherJ

Pararescue
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
438
#18
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;)
 

Salt USMC

Marine
Moderator
Joined
May 3, 2010
Messages
2,780
#19
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.
 

JustAnotherJ

Pararescue
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
438
#20
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.