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Old 05-03-2005, 09:33   #31
Surgicalcric
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandytroop
I've been using this with my students lately; it gets their attention:

"You can not always run from a weakness. Sometimes you must fight it out, or perish; and if that be so, then why not now, and where you stand?"
Firm, straight, and to the point.

I really like that...

Crip.
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Old 05-08-2005, 00:52   #32
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NDD and others this is a great thread and you have certainly given Sage and wise advice. I would like to add a few things if I may.

I've always said that SF was about the "mind", what they wanted was a near criminal mind that would follow orders. Don't get overexercised on the near criminal.....

Character is something of primary importance - it is the thing that makes or breaks you as a team member. A person without character is like a disease. This is why there are good teams and bad teams. Bad teams started with one bad character and it infected the whole team. Stay away from those with bad character.

Character shows up in combat - when you are behind the lines and no one knows what happened or what you did. It is your character that will determine the truth of your actions.

The last advice that my father gave me before I left for Vietnam was "son, wherever you go watch and do what the experienced man does...". It has served me in good stead. Watch and learn from those who have been there before you. Choose to learn - even if you think you already know everything. There is always someone who knows that one thing that you don't.

The basics - yeah I know you just want to quickly learn the basics and get on with the high speed stuff. Well the difference between the amateurs and professionals is that professional do the basics better. When you are in combat the winners will be those who do the basics better. Shoot, kill, move that is all there is to winning.

One final thing - no one has the "right" to be in SF. It is something you earn and something you will lose if you forget what it was that got you there to begin with.
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Old 05-08-2005, 13:13   #33
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Excellent post Bru.
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Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is;' he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn't go home at 17:00, he is home.
He knows only The Cause.

Still want to quit?
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Old 06-04-2005, 09:24   #34
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Article from Infantry Online

This may be a bit long, but I think its relevant to our topic on this thread and I think the article is really interesting. If I offended any of you with this lengthy article I will promptly delete these posts.

Infantry Online 04/15/03
Timely News for the Infantry Community


“The Ultimate Weapon”; Harnessing the combat multiplier of a Warrior Mindset

by MAJ Gregory Burbelo & DR. Nate Zinsser

The term “warrior ethos” is a concept cherished in the Infantry as our transforming doctrine and literature continues to reference the need to build and sustain this intangible component to war fighting readiness and success. The purpose of this article is to identify the major psychological components of this concept and recommend unique instructional training techniques to systematically harness and promote key elements of a warrior ethos, built through a comprehensive life-long, leader development process taught in the NCOES and OES systems. This article will summarize key points from larger blocks of formal instruction that are potentially available for training.

What is a warrior ethos?

According to FM 22-100, a warrior ethos refers to the attitudes and beliefs that characterize the American soldier. It is the will to win and ability to drive-on to complete the mission and thus persevere under the worst of conditions. Our Infantry knows this concept to be about mental toughness, courage, dedication, honor and a winning attitude. However, a void exists in the current Leader Development Process, as there are no specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for developing a trait deemed so critical to battlefield success. One of the reasons behind the difficulty of specifically training the warrior ethos is that it is a mindset consisting of both mental and emotional attributes which by definition are difficult to measure. Our doctrine clearly states what we must be, but does not particularly address how we get there.

Where does a warrior ethos really come from? Is it the chicken (Tough training) or the egg (mindset)?

Most leaders profess that a warrior ethos is built through tough, realistic and demanding training. Experience such as this is indeed a great teacher, but it has two serious limitations. First, experience is externally based, and that limits its usefulness as a source for development of a warrior ethos, due to the fact that this warrior ethos is an internal mindset for success and achievement. Additionally, although many soldiers and leaders undergo tough, realistic, and demanding training, some still outperform others on the battlefield. For example, if soldiers and leaders in the same platoon all receive the same, tough, and realistic training, why then do certain soldiers or leaders excel while exhibiting unusual levels of confidence and composure whereas other soldiers just meet the standards of performance or even fall below them? One can make an educated guess that certain soldiers possess more of a warrior ethos than others and that tough, realistic training does not necessarily guarantee the development of a warrior ethos. The bigger question we must then ask ourselves, is what are the determinates which make soldiers and leaders acquire a warrior ethos?

In answering this question, the field of Applied Sport Psychology offers promising techniques which can be applied to leader development training. This practical field of study is devoted to systematically training a championship or winning mindset of athletes, to enable them to achieve excellence. Applied Sport Psychology produces training protocols, particularly for Olympic and professional athletes, which methodically seek to enhance confidence despite setbacks, concentration amidst distractions and composure during times of stress. A championship mindset and a warrior ethos are strikingly similar. This connection between warrior and athlete is also firmly grounded as a recent Soldier Magazine article on The Best Ranger Competition described the competitors as “World Class Athletes.”

What can we learn from the field of Applied Sport Psychology to systematically train a warrior ethos?

The development of a warrior ethos starts with the understanding of the relationship between the mental and emotional attributes of the Leadership Framework and a warrior ethos. Confidence, composure, iniative, self-control and balance point to the very essence of an ethos. Standard physical, technical and tactical training builds competence but does not directly address the mental and emotional skills needed to demonstrate a warrior ethos. Surely, the physical practice aspect of training does produce a certain level of mental readiness, however professional trainers and coaches in athletics realize the need to specifically address the undeniable mental side of performance, thus providing athletes both physical, technical and mental skills to reach their full potential. This is exactly the training we need in our Infantry which would give soldiers the complete package of not only world-class- technical, tactical and physical training but also training which would ensure a mental edge. Below are six interrelated training methods and concepts that can be used to harness a warrior mindset. The non-standard incorporation of mental training requires an education phase (before training), application phase (during training) and assessment phase (after training). The sole purpose of Applied Warrior Psychology training would be to help the soldier/leader achieve his maximum potential through appropriate mental and emotional skills training.

continued....
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Old 06-04-2005, 09:33   #35
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Page 2

1. Develop the Self-awareness of selective perceptions and effective thinking skills.

Soldiers and leaders need to understand how their perceptions and thus their thoughts affect their performance on a day to day basis. Soldiers must realize the relationship between internal thoughts about tough and demanding training and immediate changes in their physiology which either physically frees them up to perform aggressively or slows them down to a level of mediocrity. It involves telling soldiers that free will plays an important role in how they choose to view their environment. SLA Marshall stated it clearly when he said “It profits an Army nothing to build the body of a soldier to a gladiatorial physique if he continues to think with a brain of a malingerer.”

Moreover, soldiers must be made aware of the usefulness of their thought patterns. Self-awareness involves asking the question, “Am I performing better while worrying (thinking) about making mistakes, worrying to much (thinking) about letting others down, or acting because (thinking) I legally have to? Surely, these underlying motivations are acceptable but not necessarily in keeping with an aggressive warrior attitude. Great soldiers and leaders on the other hand think like champions because they perceptively view tough, realistic and demanding training with eagerness and trust, rather than with doubt and apprehension both of which stem from a certain thought process. At the end of the day, it is a choice individuals can consciously focus their mind on.

Not only do the thoughts of war fighters cause changes within their internal physiology, which effect performance, but they also engage an on-going self-fulfilling process which occurs within in each of the thought processes of the individual. The self-fulfilling prophecy is a documented phenomenon, based upon quantitative and qualitative research that reveals that people tend to become what they think about. The statement “Rangers lead the way” is a case in point. The cultivated attitude of a warrior can be harnessed if soldiers are trained to become aware of what they say to themselves. Hence they will choose a useful and productive thought process which will, in turn give them the best chance to fulfill a desired vision of what they want to do.


Therefore, a warrior ethos initially develops from the seeds of optimistic perceptions which in turn become our internal effective thought process which eventually galvanizes our belief system. It is not necessarily the tough, realistic, and demanding training that builds the warrior ethos; it is the perceptions and thoughts that we internalize before, during and after tough, training events or combat that produce a hardened warrior mindset.

2. Achieving balance between the training and trusting mindset

Generally, leaders wisely view training as the key to building confidence. It is the idea that the more I train my unit the more confident my unit will become. This is an absolute necessity in order to develop the necessary skills for success (i.e. operate weapon’s systems). However, constant over-training brings its own set of challenges. First, managing optempo is always an issue, as “burnout” and “finger drilling” become likely. Second, the typical training mindset involves training hard, conducting an AAR, finding what went well, and not so well, and then retraining the weak or broken area till the unit gets it right. This sounds logical but may cause individuals, leaders, and the unit to become unknowingly analytical, judgmental, and preoccupied with shortcomings. This training mindset may unknowingly produce hesitation and doubt spurred by a focus of purposely looking for errors in training. This training mindset must therefore be balanced with a trusting mindset by first focusing 60% of the AAR process on what went right. Furthermore, areas that did not meet the standard should be generally viewed as temporary and fixable versus “permanently broken.” Shortcomings should also be viewed as a thankful lesson learned versus failure and attaching personal blame to the shortcoming. Again this comes down to a “deliberate and selective perception” about the training experience that has occurred. Bottom line: leaders must carefully measure what goes into the brain-housing group of themselves and others.


One more page....
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Old 06-04-2005, 09:35   #36
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last page..

3. Teach leaders the process of goal-setting and incorporate it into the counseling process.

One of the best ways to inspire iniative, motivation, and productivity typified in a warrior ethos is by having soldiers set goals that they envision about accomplishing and having leaders help accomplish these goals. Too often, the counseling process involves supervisors fixing problems, and telling subordinates how they are doing and what they need to do the next quarter or month. By using the goal setting process, supervisors are now asking subordinates what the individual wants to achieve and accomplish. This goal-setting process is centered on the soldier, not the leader. This simple process demonstrates caring leadership and facilitates intrinsic motivation and further self-awareness of the subordinate. The counseling session should involve the supervisor using his experience and leadership to help the subordinate make a blueprint to reach his goal. Below is an example of a goal plan for a young soldier desiring to become an NCO. Notice that the blueprint or action plan effectively uses a selective perception and effective thought process described above.

By counseling war fighters to focus on goals which will propel them forward in their profession and assisting them in building a comprehensive, detailed action plan to get there, warriors are apt to aggressively follow a clear path that will make them successful and enjoy the rewards of a professional warrior.

4. Encourage instinctual abilities and focus skills

Having established the great attitude of a warrior and a motivational goal plan to move forward in achieving excellence, another key element within a warrior ethos is the ability to focus like a lion. The infrequent “lion” focus can best be described in the Medal of Honor citations of past warriors. For example, “The total disregard to one’s safety amidst the hail of machine gun and rocket fire” is a common citation comment which clearly depicts total absorption in the moment and a level of intense focus unparalleled in any other human endeavor. Learning to stay in the present and maximize one’s use of all senses is a skill that can be taught and encouraged. This skill requires letting go of the dominant “logical thinking” side of the brain, which is partially achieved through developing trust and confidence from within. As an example, the actions of SGT York were said to be facilitated by the instinctual hunting skills he learned and honed as young boy in the woods. Focusing is about using natural instincts versus the use of modern analytical logic. The ability to focus and maximize one’s instincts is critical to rapid and effective action. Unfortunately, a systematic methodology seems to be lacking other than relying on rote physical repetition.

The modern education field of applied Sport Psychology can provide systematic TTPs to facilitates one’s ability to focus on the appropriate task at hand amidst distractions as well as encourage the mental agility needed to quickly shift focus on a rapidly changing battlefield. These techniques are too lengthy to describe here, but are available. (where?)


5. Teach soldiers the techniques to manage stress and energy, thus enabling them to thrive under pressure.

The stress placed upon soldiers in combat is of utmost concern to the Infantry. The ability to persevere through such stressful conditions is a hallmark of a warrior ethos. Tough, realistic, and demanding training provides a stress inoculation experience often by an inefficient trial and error process not usually attained until service as mid-career officer or NCO. Demanding and stressful training is a necessity, however young warriors generally learn to cope with stress using whatever developmental skills they already possess. It would make sense to supplement or complement tough, realistic and demanding stress inoculation training with appropriate self-regulation techniques so the warrior can thrive, rather than just survive the experience. The education and skills required include understanding stress, reinterpreting the stress response as beneficial, promoting optimism, and practicing autogenic relaxation techniques which can easily be applied for sustained and continuous operations.

6. Promote the use of mental visualization and imagery skills as a concrete form of mental preparation

The use of visualization and imagery is a natural skill which involves using all the senses to create or recreate a desired outcome in the mind’s eye. It is a vivid daydream. It is a current standard of training practice at the Olympic and elite, professional levels of athletic competition, and a standard mental practice routine of the Navy Blue Angel pilots. The effectiveness of imagery has been scientifically documented as the brain’s inability to distinguish between a real and an imagined stimuli. The importance of this skill is it’s effectiveness in enhancing performance by calibrating the mind for success. By using imagery, warriors can achieve mental and emotional readiness and execute with decisiveness through the creation of “déjà vu experiences.” The thought is “I’ve already seen it, done it, and felt it in my head, and I was able to just execute like I had envisioned myself doing.” The use of rock drills and rehearsals are similarly useful but warriors can internally use this preparatory mental skill to ensure total conviction indicative of a warrior ethos.


The warrior ethos is essential to the success of our profession and must be cultivated as our Army places a heavy emphasis on the use and role of technology. We in the Infantry know that at the end of the day, the raw human performance of the Infantry warfighters, who will close with the enemy by the means of fire and maneuver, and kill and capture or repel the enemy’s assault by whatever mean’s necessary, will determine the outcome of any war. We owe to our soldiers and young leaders the appropriate leader development training and tools to enable soldiers to harness their mental and emotional endurance. This is paramount to a warrior ethos. By investing in such training, we will maximize the human economy of our force. At least six hours of instruction should be instituted at all Infantry schools starting with Basic Training, PLDC to IOAC, providing appropriate levels of instruction based upon the audience. These recommendations come from a majority of NCOs and officers from various units who have received such training through the outreach efforts of the United States Military Academy’s Center for Enhanced Performance. Teaching the underlying skills that make up a warrior ethos will increase the effectiveness of tomorrow’s warriors at low cost.

Authors

Major Gregory Burbelo is an Infantry officer and 1990 ROTC graduate of the University of Rhode Island. He is a former enlisted soldier and has served in 82D Airborne Division and commanded D Co. And HHC at the U.S. Army Airborne School. He holds an undergraduate degree in education and a Masters degree in Athletic Counseling. MAJ Burbelo currently serves as the Executive Officer, Center for Enhanced Performance at the United States Military Academy.

Dr. Nate Zinsser holds a PhD in Sport Psychology and is the current director of the Performance Enhancement Program at the United States Military Academy’s Center For Enhanced Performance. Dr. Zinsser is also a member of the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology registry, a 3d degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate and a former elite level mountaineer.

Recognize MSG Jose Gordon for his contribution in providing assistance in the goal sheet.
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Old 06-04-2005, 16:35   #37
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Operational Necessity

I want to throw my 2 cents in about something NDD covered. Two words. Operational Necessity. Is what you are doing different from the rest of the army an operational necessity? You live with and advise Iraqi soldiers in combat, while you are with them you don't wear us army or nametapes, no rank or unit patch. You don't blouse your boots and you roll up your sleeves and maybe you wear the same patch of the Iraqi unit you work with. These are all operational necessities. You have an operational necessity to maintain opsec and persec. You have an operational necessity to do what you can to mitigate effects of the 120 degree heat. You have an operational necessity to maintain rapport with your Iraqi counterparts. But what do you do when you go to where the big army is? Do you stay in the same uniform because it shows your special? If you do, you don't understand operational necessity. You are taking advantage of the flexibility SF has to stroke your own ego and in the long run draw unwanted attention to yourself and SF. When that conventional CSM walks up to you at the PX and asks you why you are in the uniform you are in and you tell him it's "My unit SOP" and he calls your CSM what do you think your CSM will do? What do you think you have done for the credibility of SF.
When you understand what operational necessity is and apply it to yourself and the soldiers around you (remember you are an NCO) you will have gone a long way towards becoming a mature SF soldier.
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Old 06-05-2005, 15:11   #38
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Old 06-17-2005, 21:45   #39
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Training the Mind

Doc,
Great thread. Appreciate your insightful words. "How can an SF Candidate best train his mind to prepare for training?" Better yet "How can a Special Forces soldier prepare himself for combat?"

Option 1 Experience.
Unfortunately, we are in an unforgiving business. Training is the best way to prepare. Screw up in training and you can get sent home. Screw up in combat and someone gets hurt or killed.

Option 2 Modelling. Not photography...modelling behavior of people who have gone before you and been successful. These can be living Mentors or Warriors who have passed on. Study the biographies and autobiographies of the greats. You chose. With whom? Start with the Medal of Honor Recipients.

Option 3 Study. Study the academics behind your chosen profession. What happens to someone when they are put in a high stress environment physically, mentally and emotionally. Read LTC(RET) Dave Grossman's book ON KILLING. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize because it was so well written. It breaks down the killing process to almost a simple mathmatical formula. It distinguishes between system the military uses to kill the enemy (controlled through discipline and orders) and the mindless "slay them all" desensitization that is happening through so many video games.

Beyond reading, there are three tape sets I highly recommend. In fact, if I could add two hours of training to the SFQC, this first tape set would be it: THE BULLETPROOF MIND: What it takes to win violent encounters...and after by LTC(RET) Dave Grossman (www.killology.com) It goes into the dynamics of combat...what happens to someone physiologically and psychologically...before, during and after a life threatening or killing experience. exactly what we need SF guys to understand BEFORE going to combat to help prevent or minimize the effects of post traumatic stress.

The second tape set would be Tough Times Never last, but Tough People Do by Robert Schuller. Although this focuses primarily on police in life threatening and killing scenarios, it's still very applicabale to what we do.

Third, The Winning Mind: Secrets to Survival Thinking by Dave Grossi. It details a number of situations where police were able to overcome being out numbered and out gunned.

Option 4 Combination. Do all of the above to rapidly accellerate your learning curve.

Warrior-Mentor

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Old 11-29-2005, 00:04   #40
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Question no emotion? no sympathy?

Gentlemen, I am bumping this one because it's an excellent thread and I got an inquiry

I was gazing at the days I first looked into the warrior dept. when I recalled the following written by a Navy SEALS at SOCNET IIRC. He was responding to a question asked about conquering BUD:

Never feel sorry for or pity yourself

When asked how, he replied "you just don't"

I believe it's a mind over matter method as WM's Get Selected book mentioned about manipulating what's in your mind for best performance. Picture certain things, play memories backward, replace their sounds (hope you don't mind my putting a spoiler of your book here, WM Sir)

Ever since I put this mindset in daily life, I had found that it's almost equal to not having emotion at all. People were puzzled to my cold composure as I lost a job, and other nasty life episodes...'n in the same fashion, there's less sympathy/compassion towards others demise as well.

Is this what it takes to always be on the matter-of-fact mode even as you find your intestines shattered by foreign object?
Anyone care to elaborate on this one?

Much appreciated,

FF
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Old 11-29-2005, 05:59   #41
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NDD,
Thanks for starting a great thread.
Just finished re-reading...great stuff.
JM
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Old 11-29-2005, 06:42   #42
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Training the Mind

We were in a NDP along the Cambodian border with a Co. of indig. Everynight I would position my LBE and weapons in the same place. Late one night a Claymore was set off, when I got slowed down I had my LBE on,weapon in my hands and facing in the direction the Claymore went off. This was an action I had mentally practiced , not too many places you can practice this task. No bad guys just a tiger looking for chow!!

Later I was thinking about what I had done and how my platoon had reacted.

My SA must of been real tight that night.

BMT

FOG 'membering way back when!!
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:02   #43
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First let me salute Doc for a great thread. Made me think and brought several related ideas to mind.

The first was in his enjoinder to look for examples around you worth emulating. All of us regardless of branch or even career see those we'd willingly follow and those we'd rather not. In January 1977 as a Ranger student going through the last phase at Eglin, Old Man Winter hit us hard one evening and the net result was 2 dead students and a very demoralized platoon. I remember sitting in water, under a poncho, trying to keep a heat tab lit while I was shaking too badly to keep the C rat coffee can from falling off my lap. We were all hurting; we were all wodering what had happened. And I have no doubt many were ready to quit. Then we got the new RI for that day, a Major by the name of Meadows. He surveyed the situation, got us moving, and pulled us back together in a matter of minutes. 25 years later, I got to shake his son's hand as the latter was promoted to LTC. I pulled him aside and told him about his Dad, as if he did not already know. Major Dick Meadows served as an example to me for the remainder of my career, one I would have to describe as a the epitome of a natural leader.

And that brings me to the second point: if the name Meadows does not ring a bell, you need to read. As a foreign area officer, I read everything I could on my areas and I read them critically. I taught regional history to inhabitatnts of those regions and I had the opportunity to research and write 2 books on operations in the Congo before I ended up as Defense Attache in the same country. That reading and writing stood me in very good stead when the Rwandan genocide washed across the border in 1994. Regardless of field, the true professional never stops learning.

Finally on the thoughts on offcers versus NCOs, my assignments overseas where by their very nature in very small detachments where officer-NCO relations had to be tight. In Rwanda I had an ODB with 2 ODAs and other attachments helping establish a demining program. We had our problems, none of which came from the teams. And we succeeded by listening to the senior NCOs on those teams. My own rule was to listen to my NCOs when they offered cogent advice--and act on it.

Best all,

Tom
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Old 11-30-2005, 15:19   #44
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Thanks for reviving this topic; I hadn't read it yet.

Advice I will definitely take to heart...
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Old 12-30-2005, 00:41   #45
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NDD, and Doc,

..WOW...very good Pearls of wisdom were spoken in here. This among MANY other reasons has made me resonate more towards the SF route then anything else in the Military. Reading I firmly and very strongly believe is the best way to prepare yourself for this kind of profession, mentally. More of using your head and thinking outside of the box then going out, kicking ass and taking names. Even though I have gotten off to a little bit of a rocky start in here, I do admire most of the people in here. Vast amounts of knowledge that is indispensible to anyone aspiring to take this "road not taken" in the Military. Very well spoken gentlemen, as this applies in all walks, and areas of life.

Respectfully,
Tyler Consugar
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