Why do we do this? Items to consider.

Discussion in 'Special Operations Selection Preparation' started by x SF med, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. x SF med

    x SF med the Troll Verified SOF

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    Why do we do this?


    It’s not for glory.

    It’s not to be cool.

    It’s not for the money.

    It’s not something that’s easy to explain. We feel we are born to it, we want to be around people who we trust, have the same training, will be there any time we call on them.


    If any or all of the 3 “it’s not” items are your motivation for joining a Special Operations unit, rethink joining, because, you will not be a key member of a Team. Taking the lead, or sublimating oneself to the skill/knowledge of another is a matter of becoming a member of a Team… Training sets a baseline, cohesion makes an SOF soldier (I personally hate the word ‘operator’ and will refrain from it’s use).

    Reliance on self, as a part of a team is counter to much of today’s societal norm, most tend to be either loners or group members, not true team members… due to the ‘everyone is a winner’ socialist line that is so prevalent. One learns in SOF selection that there are winners and losers, strong and weak, team players and glory hounds – and during any of the selection courses you will probably fall into each of those categories – those selected fall into winner/strong/team player more often than any of the other categories.

    Mental, emotional, spiritual And psychological strength are as important as physical strength in one’s career in SOF, and in selection. Perseverance, recovery, intelligence and ‘mind over matter’ (the situation don’t mind, and you don’t matter) can carry a nominally fit person through, more so than the weak minded ‘stud muffin’ who quails when faced with physical deprivation or harm. Gym muscles will not carry you through, functional strength and a desire to excel will.

    We do this because we love it. We genuinely care for our brothers in arms, to the point that all it takes is a request for the seemingly impossible to make things happen.

    All of the information on preparation is probably too much. Be in shape, hit your report date, have the equipment on the packing list and go in with the mindset that you will push yourself to the point of excellence in everything. You can over prepare. Not everyone can be SOF, 1% of 1% of the population succeeds, that is slim odds, and figure that a 40% success rate overall for those that attempt SOF selection is the norm, your chances overall are about 1/10th of a percent of ever attaining a position in an SOF force. The major disqualifier in these selections is DOR, self initiated failure, or, in the words of Bob Howard, “Not enough fucking heart”.

    Do you want to do it because of movies? Do you want to be a bad ass? Do you want to just break shit? Are you tying your entire self worth in the endeavor? If so, you are wrong.

    Humility, maturity, emotional/spiritual/psychological toughness, self sacrifice, intelligence, self control, ability to negotiate, Team work, self reliance, physical fitness and the abilty to lead or follow as required are your keys. Excel, but don’t gloat. The only person you have to prove anything to in selection is yourself, there are myriad reasons a person may not be selected, but the standards are there for a reason. There is a reason “Special” is the first word in Special Operations.

    Go read “Message to Garcia”. Go read “Five Years to Freedom”. Read the citations of Medal of Honor recipients, read the unit histories, ask about the unpublished stuff people have done. It will make you think about the choice, and the meaning of joining the Special Operations Brotherhood.

    We do this, because we really do care.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
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  2. Agoge

    Agoge Verified Military

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    Simply put...that is an OUTSTANDING post!
     
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  3. CDG

    CDG Mittens Verified Military

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    Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed it.
     
  4. racing_kitty

    racing_kitty Sister Mary Hellfire Verified Military

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    Well said, brother.
     
  5. x SF med

    x SF med the Troll Verified SOF

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    I was asked by a member if I really meant, "You can over prepare.", or if I meant, "You can't overprepare". I meant what I typed, you cannot prepare your heart, but you can over prepare physically, or psych yourself out by focusing too heavily on the ego. If you really want it: be in shape, make sure you have the items on the packing list, be where you need to be at the appointed time, and never quit.

    We lost 50% of my Pre-Phase class in the first week - a lot of them were support guys from the various Groups who wanted to get to an ODA... they failed by over preparing and thinking they had everything dicked... and failed at the reality of the heart needed for the journey... and the people that failed through not being prepared - but failing the initial swim test twice was a ticket back to your unit at that time too. An NCAA swimmer VW'd at Drowning Creek during the river crossing/rope bridge/raft building because he could not deal with the water temp (I'll let another SF guy explain about Drowning Creek).

    Oh, MAJ Bob Howard was the OIC of Phase I when I went through... there was no way I was going to quit on a fellow Horned Frog.

    So the key thing to take away from my long diatribe above is Bob Howard's statement, "Not enough fucking heart." How do you prepare for that?
     
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  6. 8654Maine

    8654Maine Recon Marine Verified SOF

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    Not bad Troll!
     
  7. Marine0311

    Marine0311 Marine Verified Military

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    Well said Herr Troll.
     
  8. Red Flag 1

    Red Flag 1 Cleared to pass gas, use big needles,& other stuff Moderating Staff

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    Well said, Troll!
     
  9. is friday

    is friday I'm a professional. Verified Military

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    About over-prep: Absolutely. Many of these challenging mil courses from my experience push you to your physical and mental limits regardless of where you are at. You will reach your culmination point and reveal what sort of man you are.
     
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  10. Brian C

    Brian C Unverified

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    That was an excellent read. Thank you for posting that. If I knew how to like your post, I would.
     
  11. pl3a$3di3

    pl3a$3di3 Unverified

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    :thumbsup:Holy shit

    Not trying to fluff you up. But you could probably delete 90% of the "prep threads" now and make a shortcut link to this. well done
     
  12. Ethan_S

    Ethan_S Unverified

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    Very good post sir.
     
  13. Etype

    Etype Special Forces Verified SOF

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    Fucking fuck yeah!
     
  14. x SF med

    x SF med the Troll Verified SOF

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    Bump for all the new people that want to be SOF.
     
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  15. CoalTrain

    CoalTrain Verified Military

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    Out of everything i've read on this site about SOF prep this is by far the most meaningful, now back to PT.
     
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  16. BellRinger5984

    BellRinger5984 Unverified

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    Thank you for this post.
     
  17. Randall

    Randall Unverified

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    This is golden advice.
     
  18. DozerB

    DozerB Logistics Verified Military

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    Golden words of wisdom. Thanks for the advice.

    A good friend of mine in the 0321 community/ a former BRC instructor once told me, after I asked him the best way to get better in the pool: the best way to get better in the pool is to "fucking swim." Ahh, the extremely high-tech, professionally engineered "just fucking swim" workout. I dig it.

    Keep the excellent posts coming good Sir!
     
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  19. x SF med

    x SF med the Troll Verified SOF

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    Bump for the newest group of hopefuls...
    And another piece of advice-
    Find and read General Colin Powell's Rules for Life, no link, no help except to let you know they were probably published before you were born but are very important to your mental preparation for the journey you have chosen.

    Read your Rudyard Kipling, Kim would be the first book I pick up by him if I were you.
    Read, War at the Top of the World


    Be a well rounded individual, familiar with many things, expert in a few and competent at a lot more, you never know what knowledge will come in handy. Part of being well rounded is excellent social skills, tailor your approach to your audience.

    Keep your mouth shut and let your actions prove your strength.
     
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  20. x SF med

    x SF med the Troll Verified SOF

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    All mentor Program Wannabes, this is bumped for you... then re-read the new members begin here thread and the entire special Operations forum with big attention to The Special operations Selection and Preparation and SOF mentor program threads. A lot of you hopefuls are failing on attention to detail and situational awareness... and posting your 'second intro' in a specific area so the mentors can evaluate your desires.

    Here is an exerpt from someplace else that is key - the 5 Special Operations Truths, with a little commentary: LINK
     
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