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dennisw
05-24-2005, 16:21
I've watched my youngest go through the SF pipeline for the last two years, including basic and infantry training, and the transformation is very interesting to say the least. Since he's fairly young, some of the changes can be chalked up to normal maturity, if there is such a thing. However, I have a feeling that most of the changes are related to his training and experience.

For the Quite Professionals and candidates, do you think the SF journey has changed you in any significant manner?

dave_az
05-25-2005, 09:47
Looking forward to answer. .

lksteve
05-25-2005, 09:56
i've thought about this question often...over the years, it seems to me that the training didn't change me, fundamentally, anymore than a gem cutter changes the nature of a stone he fashions...the training brings forward certain aspects of a person, but underneath, it's the same guy...

i do not believe that anyone can become SF...there are people with the right combination of phsyical and intellectual skills, aptitudes and interests that cannot, should not and will not make it through the training and for the rare few of these folks who do, they do not stay in the business very long...the more mature leave of their own choosing and the posers are sent away...

QRQ 30
05-25-2005, 10:21
I agree with 1ksteve. That's why I didn't reply. I believe Special Forces merely fulfilled my destiny from the beginning. Take that as a compliment for your son. If he makes it it means he is made of the right stuff.

BTW: Not making it doesn't necessarily mean failure in life. I don't care for quiters but others just weren't meant to be. Hopefully the selection process does its job and selects the proper candidates.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
05-25-2005, 11:56
Agree with both QRQ and lksteve. SF is a commitment and not just a branch. In order for anyone to fullfill this commitment they have to be fully aligned with the physcological, physical, intellectual demands expected of a Special Forces soldier. I really don't see myself as changed from being who I was before I came into the service but I do see myself as being a whole lot better soldier for being associated, challenged, and driven by a sense of not wanting to let down anyone with whom I worked. The motivation was always there but the acquired skill sets associated with mission performance was honed by those with whom and for whom I served. I think that one of the most unique things about Special Forces as a profession at arms, unlike many of the other branches in the service, who you are is what you do whereas in most other professions/jobs/careers what you do is not necessarily who you are.

Jack Moroney

dennisw
05-25-2005, 12:28
In hindsight, I should have worded my question more carefully. I like the gem cutter analogy. Peter G. Bourne, MD -- Department of Psychiatry proformed a study of SF soldiers in Vietnam. I found it fascinating. Many of you are probably already familiar with his findings. If not it's at the following website:

www.sfalx.com/bourne/h_a_team_psychiatry_observations.htm

Some of his observations may relate more to Vietnam then to SF soldiers in general. Again, the members of this board are better suited then any to answer that.

Although my son does not have SF experience, I can see certain characteristics emerging due to the training: self reliance, acute sense of SA and an increased sense of confidence related to problem solving. Also, it appears sleep is not a necessity, just an option. lol

Do you agree with Dr. Bourne? Is he on target?

Also, if we use the gem cutting analogy, how much of the metamophism is related to the training, and how much relates to the team experience?

Without being dissarespectful, I would imagine some folks coming out of the pipeline can be a bit cocky or rough and the team provides the group discipline to polish the stone.

QRQ 30
05-25-2005, 12:42
I'm not sure I agree 100% but pretty much so.

I didn't learn to do without sleep. I did learn to nap for 4 1/2 minutes during a 5 minute break.

I believe the traits are collective rather than specifying a position.

The first and best Team sergeants had similar characteristics. They never challenged the officers but, rather supported and demanded we support them. The first two of which I speak were Korean vets. They never got excited. When presented with a problem they would calmly consider a solution and then present it to the team. One, MSG Holz may pace back and forth with his hands behind his back. If he did this we knew he was in "Deep Thought". Unlike today, the Team Sergeants of the sixties were mostly veterans with more than 20 years service.

NousDefionsDoc
05-25-2005, 12:49
It made a whole new person out of me and every bit of success I have had since, however small, can be directly attributed to the example shown by my Teammates in professionalsim, personal responsibility, team work, etc.

QRQ 30
05-25-2005, 12:51
The following motto of the Special Operations Association pretty well says it all"You have never lived until you have almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know.

Or as we said in SOG: "Looked the elephant in the eye." :lifter

Jack Moroney (RIP)
05-25-2005, 15:43
Do you agree with Dr. Bourne? Is he on target?

.

The group dynamics are going to vary a lot and while he has captured some of the stuff that goes on it surely did not go on with all teams. Each team, like every camp, was different and had different variables. I commanded two separate teams and each, like the people on them, where extremely different and neither fit the discriptions portrayed by Bourne. I do know of situations and camps where individual actions occured but not one camp where collectively that went on as a rule.
As far as his portrayal of leadership and the various elements of "power" he thinks are being used I think he is off the mark completely. Elements of power (legitmate, positional, reward, referent, coercive, personal,professional, etc) all stem from the strenghts and weakness of the leader/person and his view of this interaction has to be taken in light of the personalities involved. So while his comments are interesting and have some basis in fact for his observations it has little value in drawing conclusions about SF leadership interactions specifically. I will say from a leadership perspective that most newly assigned officers have at the least legitimate , positional power and some professional power. Good ones, as they mature or if they have had prior experience in SF or are quick studies will also have professional and referent powers. The best ones will have a combination of professional, referent, personal and get the job done with that. Those that have to depend on legitimate, positional, and coercive power to function will not last long-although there is a time and a place to exercise these elements it is usually in influencing up the chain and rarely, if ever, within the team. While this sounds like a short treatise on leadership I do not intend it to, it is just my reflection back on the teams I commanded and all the various team leaders that worked as commanders subordinate to me and as contemporaries with me.

Jack Moroney

lksteve
05-25-2005, 20:06
Also, if we use the gem cutting analogy, how much of the metamophism is related to the training, and how much relates to the team experience?depends on the individual...depends on the team...the process of metamorphism is never completed...never...at least in my case, i believe i am still evolving, based on my experience, my training, my associations...not unlike NDD, i apply everything i learned throughout my time in SF to my life beyond the Army...

Without being dissarespectful, I would imagine some folks coming out of the pipeline can be a bit cocky or rough and the team provides the group discipline to polish the stone.first trip downrange usually knocks cocky out of even the brashest...the team he's with on that first trip determines whether the gem is polished or simply rubbed on...

rough...i dunno...don't think that ever goes away...some of us are more suave and debonaire than others...BTW, the correct pronounciation is swave (as in wave with an s at the beginning) and deboner (as in one who removes meat from a bone)...i would not make these things up... :D

Tubbs
05-25-2005, 20:17
BTW, the correct pronounciation is swave (as in wave with an s at the beginning) and deboner (as in one who removes meat from a bone)...i would not make these things up... :D

Sounds like you've been talking to my old company 1StSgt. :D

lksteve
05-25-2005, 20:19
Sounds like you've been talking to my old company 1StSgt. given the fact that i was using those pronounciations 30 years ago, i'd suspect your old 1stSgt had learned them from me... ;)

Tubbs
05-25-2005, 20:33
Perhaps, but I didn't thin you were that old. You don't post a day over 45 :)

lksteve
05-25-2005, 20:35
Perhaps, but I didn't thin you were that old. You don't post a day over 45 :)
Tubbs, go do push-ups 'til i get tired...don't post a day over 45... ;)

Tubbs
05-25-2005, 22:02
Solid copy sir, I'm hazing myself as we type :lifter

Warrior-Mentor
06-17-2005, 18:18
I've watched my youngest go through the SF pipeline for the last two years, including basic and infantry training, and the transformation is very interesting to say the least. Since he's fairly young, some of the changes can be chalked up to normal maturity, if there is such a thing. However, I have a feeling that most of the changes are related to his training and experience.

For the Quite Professionals and candidates, do you think the SF journey has changed you in any significant manner?

Absolutely. Looking back it's easy to see. As you go through the training process you don't notice it. Every event builds on the previous and makes you better. More experienced. Smarter. One of the popular buzz words is "Stress Innoculation."

Take weight lifting. You couldn't go into the gym the first time and lift 300 pounds...but if you set that as a goal, and go back week after week...you get stronger. You don' notice the improvement from day to day, but if you record your progress and them look backwords...it's easy to see.

How do you get good judgement?

Wisdom

How do you get wisdom?

Experience

How do you get Experience?

Bad Judgement

SF Candidates go through extensive training scenarios so that they can learn from mistakes by practicing so that when they have to do it for real, they already have the experience and judgement to execute correctly and quickly.

These are all good things that the Trainers and the Trainees want to happen.

What you're noticing is that your boy is becoming a man.

abc_123
07-03-2005, 22:36
Great observation, WM, about "experience". All of us get that on a daily basis. No matter what your "experience" level, bad judgements are made just the same; and each bad judgement provides a learning experience.

Speaking for self, one of the things that I can say is that the SF experience made me more confident. Or, maybe gave me the OPPORTUNITY to prove to myself those qualities/character traits that I posessed. ...those qualities that were/are still taught to me by my parents.

dennisw, I can't speak for sure what your son was "taught" because that is a function of the person receiving the instruction, however from a 'maturity' and 'experience' standpoint, one thing that SF training will give you is a large amount of both in a compressed timeframe. Of that, i assure you. That your son is walking the path that he is is a testiment to your mentorship/parenting.

Again, from my personal experience.... I had faced adversity/diappointment in my pre-Army life....however, the key event that I can remember (nothing spectacular, but important to me at the time ...) happened during my re-test for the STAR land-navigation exam as part of the SF Qual Course (SFQC). I got misoriented (otherwise knon as 'lost') and lost a very large amount of time. I finally got myself reoriented and proceeded to conclude that I had no chance of completing the course in the alloted time limit and had an internal debate on wether or not I should quit right there. I stopped, drank some water, and decided that, although there was no hope, I shoud continue and try to do my best and at least fail with dignity. (This was probably the lowest point in my life as it was at this time that I saw all my dreams slipping away.... ) Additionally, I saw history repeating itself in that I had, as a cherry Lieutenant prior to 'the Q', ended up being medically dropped from Ranger School....HOWEVER, I knew I could never face my parents (who taught me to never quit and to FINISH any fight that I got myself into) or live with myself if I quit.) So, I started to run, and I ran through the water across Scuba Road, back North along th Bowling Alleys ...knowing that I was going to fail. I got to my second to last point and then the instructor at the point told me (I don't know why... ), that I "Neeed to hurry". So I ran. Maybe not fast, but as fast as I physically could with a ruck on my back and a M16 in my hands, and with all the desperation of a young man chasing his dreams. I got to my attack point, and shot my azimuth to where I thought my last point was and proceeded onward...and eventually came upon my final point wiht an instructor and a bunch of sleeping students sitting around trying to care for their worn-out feet.

SUCCESS! I had made it!... Probably the greatest achievement of my life.

And the NCO instructor said. "What took you so F_ing long?, you only had 30min left. You're the last one. Grab a seat and get some water." Looking back on that, I couldn't have wished for him to say anything more. Internally, I knew I had triumphed, but in the grand scheme of things, I was just another student who had barely made the cutoff.

I didn't LEARN anything that day, however, I AFFIRMED a lot. I had LEARNED a lot from my parents and my experiences as an adolescent, however I hd just AFFIRMED them as a MAN.

To this day, you're going to have to kill me before I'd quit something that I've commited myself to. (BTW, I did end up going back an graduating from the Ranger Course following my graduation from SF Language School). I'm not saying that I'm the best/smartest/fastest/strongest, however I'm not going to embarass my name or the beret that I wear for lack of effort. In anything.

I'm just one of many.... Hope your son joins the ranks.

Good Luck to him!

Petelink
07-07-2005, 18:42
I think the Q course is as much about testing a candidate's determination to be SF as it is about assessing for certain traits. I had a similar STAR experience to abc-123's, it would have been so damn easy to quit, of course I didn't and that set the tone for the rest of the course for me. However, I think the reason I didn't quit had less to do with any unique, God-given talent and much more to do with my profound desire to be SF. I firmly believe that the likelihood of someone finishing this course is directly proportional to their desire to one day join a team, and to be honest that is really just an abstract goal, very few of us in the course really have a realistic idea of what we're trying to become. What drives us is a loose mix of fact and fiction derived as much from the popular media as from real sources like SF guys. Throughout the pipeline you learn more and more about where you're going, but in the end it's still left up to that fire in your heart that burns every time you think about accomplishing your goal. So to answer Dennis's question, I don't think the Q course has changed me, but it has shone a spot light on certain traits like determination and teamwork that will serve me in every facet of my life and it has reminded me that anything is possible if you really want it.

*Edited to replace stubborness with determination, as it was pointed out that being stubborn means being inflexible and that is not something encouraged within the Q course.

SFRADIOMAN
07-09-2005, 12:34
I think one of the biggest changes I experienced was that there is usually a shorter solution for a long question. Many of life experiences taught us to fully examine the situation, analyze the details and ponder over the various solutions and get a consensus for the path to be taken. SF provided the exposure to hundreds of men who had been there and done that many times and they were proud to impart those experiences on to you whether it be in the classroom or in the field. From commo training to FTXs to specialized training to combat in VN there were men who could teach you to 'see it quicker and act faster'.

In the field, this could be: keep quiet and get the hell out, shoot as many as you can and get the hell out, call in arty and air cover and get the hell out but bottom line was 'get the hell out' and live to fight another day. I also learned that the better I knew my job the easier it was to perform it and to train others in what I knew. Both of these things have influenced my civilian life.

But there is a big caveat: there is a transition from using brute force to solve problems to using verbal techniques to accomplish the objective. For me, this has been a difficult task.

The main thing that I came away with was, with SF, on an A team there was never any doubt that each would do his utmost (usually superbly) to accomplish a mission but in civilian life, many of the players will let you down and not care.

Scottkimbal
11-15-2007, 10:48
How has being in SF or being in the Army changed you? What were you like before joining? People tell me the process of joining and participating in the organizations change you but no one is in a position to explain beyond that. I tell them life changes you but it does raise an interesting question. Your prespectives on this will be greatly appreciated.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
11-15-2007, 11:17
How has being in SF or being in the Army changed you? What were you like before joining? People tell me the process of joining and participating in the organizations change you but no one is in a position to explain beyond that. I tell them life changes you but it does raise an interesting question. Your prespectives on this will be greatly appreciated.

I think you have to understand that SF is a commitment and during the process of assessment and selection we are going to look long and hard at you to determine if you have what it takes to make the commitment we require. In order to have a commitment to anything your own physical and psychological make up has to fall in line with those characteristics that are needed for you to function as a Special Forces Soldier. If you have baggage that you carry that prohibit you from exhibiting those characteristics then you are not going to be able to enter our profession. So what I am basically telling you is that you either have the basic characteristics that we need or you do not and we are not in the business of changing you but training you, developing skill sets that you already have the ability to grasp, perhaps helping you mature and develop those basic building blocks you already posses so that you can perform our missions and work on our teams. The life altering aspects evolving from your time in our profession will happen because of your ability to fullfilling your potential and achieving goals you may never have thought possible while you work with the best any Army has to offer in terms of professional soldiers. That is about as simple as I can make it.

Richard
11-16-2007, 09:40
Being in the US Army gave me insight into the type of gigantic bureaucratic organization I neither enjoyed nor ever sought to be a part of.

Being in SF gave me insight into my having the ability to focus wholly on the mission, while placing all of the garbage that is not necessary to performing that mission in a shoebox on the back shelf in the closet of my mind until the mission is completed.

I am using that ability now as I deal with my Mom's passing away yesterday in her home. At some point, when there are no more tasks to be done, I will pull down the shoebox and sort its contents in my own way. People who have never been around an SFODA have difficulty understanding that concept.

Richard

sg1987
11-16-2007, 09:46
Richard,
My condolences on the loss of your Mom.

dennisw
11-16-2007, 10:31
Scottkimbal,

A similar question to yours was asked previously. The answers are very good. You may want to review this previous thread.

Dennis

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6951&page=2

Scottkimbal
11-16-2007, 11:54
Dennisw: My search wasn't thorough enough it seems. Thank you for bring the thread to my attention.

SG1987: My condolences on the loss of your mother.

Rob_0811
11-16-2007, 12:55
Being in the Army has made me realize that I should have gone into SF.

In the Army, if it's stupid, and wastes time, it's policy. That doesn't appear to be the case with SF. Must be nice.

Snaquebite
11-16-2007, 13:02
Being in the Army has made me realize that I should have gone into SF.

In the Army, if it's stupid, and wastes time, it's policy. That doesn't appear to be the case with SF. Must be nice.

Many things deemed a waste of time by some people are only a "waste" if they allow them to be and do not look to the things they can learn or the opportunities that can arise.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
11-16-2007, 15:17
In the Army, if it's stupid, and wastes time, it's policy.

Interesting, sounds like you have been in units with leadership problems. In SF, SF NCOs don't let anyone waste time, don't let anyone do stupid things unless they fit the typical know-it-all model and are not redeemable in which case they expedite their self destructive path to preserve the force, and have significant input in policy. And, SF is Army!

mark46th
12-09-2007, 13:20
Being SF taught me ultimate responsibility. If I didn't do my job to the best of my ability, one or more of my team may be hurt. I looked upon that as positive, an honor to be trusted by other SF soldiers with their lives. I also learned that I will never be a victim. If I go down, it will be swinging...

QRQ 30
12-09-2007, 14:03
I don't know that being in SF changed my life as much as defined it.:lifter

Pete
12-09-2007, 14:28
Nice to see The Whale feeling better and back to posting.

Hope you get back to purring at 100% real soon.

Amato
12-09-2007, 18:46
The Army has made mentally and physically tougher, and disciplined. I'm glad I did this first instead of college, I wouldn't have the self discipline to do my work.

Being in the course, its given me leadership abilities that I never learned in the regular army. Oddly enough, being in the course, I've been the happiest I've been in a while(even pre-army). I've also become more sociable since joining the army, and even more so since SFAS.

dennisw
12-09-2007, 23:16
I've also become more sociable since joining the army, and even more so since SFAS.

Maybe the old saying is true," Hard work is its own reward."

I know we've had a fair amount of QP's join the forum since this question was first asked. I for one would be interested in hearing additional comments about the impact of the QP journey.

Guy
12-10-2007, 08:06
Maybe the old saying is true, "Hard work is its own reward."

Even in the "civilian" work-place, if you were to apply...

"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?"

NousDefionsDoc
www.professionalsoldiers.com:lifter

Stay safe.

warrottjr
12-10-2007, 08:34
How has the SOF and the rest of the Army changed me?

Not a bit. I'm still the same person as I was born. My talents are gifts from God and my parents, not because someone cut me a set of orders.

What the SOF and Army has given me, however, was the opportunity to "Be All That I Can Be."

I have had some dark periods in my life, but the SOF and Army were there for me always, without question, and so I learned what "loyalty" really means.

Team Sergeant
12-10-2007, 13:45
I've watched my youngest go through the SF pipeline for the last two years, including basic and infantry training, and the transformation is very interesting to say the least. Since he's fairly young, some of the changes can be chalked up to normal maturity, if there is such a thing. However, I have a feeling that most of the changes are related to his training and experience.

For the Quite Professionals and candidates, do you think the SF journey has changed you in any significant manner?

How has the SF and the rest of the Army changed me?

Not a bit. I'm still the same person as I was born. My talents are gifts from God and my parents, not because someone cut me a set of orders.

What the SF and Army has given me, however, was the opportunity to "Be All That I Can Be."

I have had some dark periods in my life, but the SF and Army were there for me always, without question, and so I learned what "loyalty" really means.


warrottjr,

If you read the orginal post (above) the individual asked the question of the "Special Forces" soldiers. Just an FYI.

Team Sergeant

warrottjr
12-10-2007, 14:23
warrottjr,

If you read the orginal post (above) the individual asked the question of the "Special Forces" soldiers. Just an FYI.

Team Sergeant

I was responding to:

How has being in SF or being in the Army changed you? What were you like before joining? People tell me the process of joining and participating in the organizations change you but no one is in a position to explain beyond that. I tell them life changes you but it does raise an interesting question. Your prespectives on this will be greatly appreciated.

The Reaper
12-10-2007, 14:36
When all else fails, read the title of this forum.:rolleyes:

Poorly worded thread title to start with.

TR

warrottjr
12-11-2007, 06:06
warrottjr,

If you read the orginal post (above) the individual asked the question of the "Special Forces" soldiers. Just an FYI.

Team Sergeant

I stand corrected.

ODA572
12-13-2007, 13:13
My short, un-philosophical answer to this question is this: It showed me in 1979 that there were other nineteen year old kids who thought, believed, and acted just like me. And what each of us did with that was up to each of us.

Did SF change me? I don't think so. Did it enlighten me like nothing before or since? Oooooh, yeah.

Blitzzz
03-12-2008, 21:46
No, It formed me. I am what I always was. SF took what had to offer and molded, shaped , formed me into what I became. You learn that there is no problem that can't be solved. If not by yourself then with a team. Impossible situations are not impossible. they're just extreme challenges. challenges that increase the fullness of life. Never ending education of life, people, and events. If you don't posses the raw materials you won't become SF. Blitz

Team Sergeant
03-12-2008, 21:47
No, It formed me. I am what I always was. SF took what had to offer and molded, shaped , formed me into what I became. You learn that there is no problem that can't be solved. If not by yourself then with a team. Impossible situations are not impossible. they're just extreme challenges. challenges that increase the fullness of life. Never ending education of life, people, and events. If you don't posses the raw materials you won't become SF. Blitz

Well said.;)

greenberetTFS
06-24-2008, 17:53
The proudest day of my life is when I earned and received my "Green Beret".....:lifter

abc_123
06-24-2008, 21:08
No, It formed me. I am what I always was. SF took what had to offer and molded, shaped , formed me into what I became. You learn that there is no problem that can't be solved. If not by yourself then with a team. Impossible situations are not impossible. they're just extreme challenges. challenges that increase the fullness of life. Never ending education of life, people, and events. If you don't posses the raw materials you won't become SF. Blitz

Blitzzz,

Well said.

I've been thinking about this and I finally came to the conclusion that I could not do any better. I wouldn't have made it thru selection and the Q if I wasnt' who I was... and yet I wouldn't be who I am today without SF. Just thinking about this subject make me want to reach for a cigar and a johnny walker green....

mac117
06-25-2008, 12:46
You just become a more calculating version of yourself.........if that is maturity, then I am one old Mike Foxtrot!

Mike
06-27-2008, 22:45
It helped me give up my Teddy Bear.

bricklayer
06-28-2008, 11:34
I have always firmly believed that in any profession, you yourself will not pick your job, the job picks you!

21BravoInDaSand
02-14-2009, 23:19
Great observation, WM, about "experience". All of us get that on a daily basis. No matter what your "experience" level, bad judgements are made just the same; and each bad judgement provides a learning experience.

Speaking for self, one of the things that I can say is that the SF experience made me more confident. Or, maybe gave me the OPPORTUNITY to prove to myself those qualities/character traits that I posessed. ...those qualities that were/are still taught to me by my parents.

dennisw, I can't speak for sure what your son was "taught" because that is a function of the person receiving the instruction, however from a 'maturity' and 'experience' standpoint, one thing that SF training will give you is a large amount of both in a compressed timeframe. Of that, i assure you. That your son is walking the path that he is is a testiment to your mentorship/parenting.

Again, from my personal experience.... I had faced adversity/diappointment in my pre-Army life....however, the key event that I can remember (nothing spectacular, but important to me at the time ...) happened during my re-test for the STAR land-navigation exam as part of the SF Qual Course (SFQC). I got misoriented (otherwise knon as 'lost') and lost a very large amount of time. I finally got myself reoriented and proceeded to conclude that I had no chance of completing the course in the alloted time limit and had an internal debate on wether or not I should quit right there. I stopped, drank some water, and decided that, although there was no hope, I shoud continue and try to do my best and at least fail with dignity. (This was probably the lowest point in my life as it was at this time that I saw all my dreams slipping away.... ) Additionally, I saw history repeating itself in that I had, as a cherry Lieutenant prior to 'the Q', ended up being medically dropped from Ranger School....HOWEVER, I knew I could never face my parents (who taught me to never quit and to FINISH any fight that I got myself into) or live with myself if I quit.) So, I started to run, and I ran through the water across Scuba Road, back North along th Bowling Alleys ...knowing that I was going to fail. I got to my second to last point and then the instructor at the point told me (I don't know why... ), that I "Neeed to hurry". So I ran. Maybe not fast, but as fast as I physically could with a ruck on my back and a M16 in my hands, and with all the desperation of a young man chasing his dreams. I got to my attack point, and shot my azimuth to where I thought my last point was and proceeded onward...and eventually came upon my final point wiht an instructor and a bunch of sleeping students sitting around trying to care for their worn-out feet.

SUCCESS! I had made it!... Probably the greatest achievement of my life.

And the NCO instructor said. "What took you so F_ing long?, you only had 30min left. You're the last one. Grab a seat and get some water." Looking back on that, I couldn't have wished for him to say anything more. Internally, I knew I had triumphed, but in the grand scheme of things, I was just another student who had barely made the cutoff.

I didn't LEARN anything that day, however, I AFFIRMED a lot. I had LEARNED a lot from my parents and my experiences as an adolescent, however I hd just AFFIRMED them as a MAN.

To this day, you're going to have to kill me before I'd quit something that I've commited myself to. (BTW, I did end up going back an graduating from the Ranger Course following my graduation from SF Language School). I'm not saying that I'm the best/smartest/fastest/strongest, however I'm not going to embarass my name or the beret that I wear for lack of effort. In anything.

I'm just one of many.... Hope your son joins the ranks.

Good Luck to him!

Eventhough that post wasn't for me, it's exactly what I needed to hear it right now. Thank you.

mkpat
03-23-2009, 17:49
Just wanted to say this thread has been more helpful than anything I've read so far. Great hearing yall's opinion, keep em coming.

Pete
03-23-2009, 18:23
Just wanted to say this thread has been more helpful than anything I've read so far. Great hearing yall's opinion, keep em coming.

In all your reading at this site do you remeber ever reading something about making your first post in the intro thread?

This ain't the intro thread. Now toddle off and do what you were told to do.

mkpat
03-23-2009, 18:52
In all your reading at this site do you remeber ever reading something about making your first post in the intro thread?

This ain't the intro thread. Now toddle off and do what you were told to do.

I have successfully toddled into the introduction thread. If it were a girl it would have bit me.
Take what you will with the first post but consider this my second.

SF_BHT
03-23-2009, 19:39
I have successfully toddled into the introduction thread. If it were a girl it would have bit me.
Take what you will with the first post but consider this my second.

You might want to go back and look at your Profile. If I read it right from your interests your girlfriend is a (Lab/Chow mix) Hummmmmm Might want to keep that to your self.:rolleyes:

Interests
The grace of God, good friends, whiskey, my beautiful girlfriend (lab/chow mix)

I would recommend that you read more and Post a Lot less.

Richard
03-23-2009, 19:46
mkpat - Interests - my beautiful girlfriend (lab/chow mix)

Sounds as if you're in love with Vanessa del Rio. A word of advice for this site - say what you mean - you'll have far fewer regrets that way. ;)

Richard's $.02 :munchin

mkpat
03-23-2009, 19:53
You might want to go back and look at your Profile. If I read it right from your interests your girlfriend is a (Lab/Chow mix) Hummmmmm Might want to keep that to your self.:rolleyes:

Tis a joke, she listens better than my ex though.

I would recommend that you read more and Post a Lot less.

Anything to make this a better place!

mkpat
03-23-2009, 19:54
Sounds as if you're in love with Vanessa del Rio. A word of advice for this site - say what you mean - you'll have far fewer regrets that way. ;)

Richard's $.02 :munchin

Last post I promise... Thanks for the advice, I can see how there can be confusion.

Surgicalcric
03-23-2009, 21:45
Last post I promise...

SF_BHT's advice to you wasnt to be taken as an invitation to continue posting. Read more post less means you need to be quiet for a while.

This isnt the place to get your last little comments in.

Questions? I didnt think so...

Crip

Utah Bob
04-03-2009, 13:49
Didn't change me. Helped me evolve.

greenberetTFS
04-03-2009, 15:50
It helped me give up my Teddy Bear.

They'll have to take "mine" out of my tightly gripping hands before I'd let it go..............:p

GB TFS :munchin

Team Sergeant
04-03-2009, 19:10
This question was asked in 2005 and I'm still contemplating my answer.;)

IMO One of the better questions asked so far.

TS

Matta mile
04-03-2009, 20:45
I am wondering if it amplified and better defined who I am or if it made me who I am.....
Tough question

In either event I can say this with confidence: SF provided me the opportunity to contribute along with like minded individuals to a demanding goal far bigger than any of us even if that goal included the ultimate sacrifice. As I write these words I detect in my self a sense of arrogance in that "if I go down, it will be because I have applied the max amount of effort with the maximum force".
MM

charlietwo
04-03-2009, 21:54
As "one of those damn X-rays", I can definitely say my time in SF has changed me. It's instilled an appreciation for leadership, and the keen ability to identify leaders just by hearing their voice. Being able to identify that voice, has led me to develop my own voice of leadership. It's hard to identify through a post like this, but I could probably do it over a few beers.

The wide range of experiences has also made me more introspective. I remember my final moments at SERE school as one of the most formative moments in my short life. Also, deploying to a combat zone and being left to your own devices, ingenuity, and wits with your teammates definitely makes life in general taste sweeter. On a side note, feeling the cold breath of death has brought me closer to God and given me a deeper appreciation for life in general.

Pretty esoteric thread we got here :) I like it!

dennisw
09-16-2010, 13:25
I know we have had many QP's who have joined the site since this thread was originally started. It would be interesting to also hear their answers.

1stindoor
09-16-2010, 13:42
I don't know that SF has changed me so much as it's given me a home. I spent three years in the regular Infantry...and while I wouldn't change one thing about my time there...I knew I didn't belong. Special Forces gave me a home. I've been a fast riser and a pain in the a$$ to Tm Sgts over the years...but all of them allowed me the space to develop into the person I am. It's truly been my niche in life...it's not everyone that has a job they truly love...but around this community...nearly everyone comes to work happy to be there (well at least in the teamroom). It's one of the few places you'll find where you get paid to hang out with friends. For those fortunate enough to make a career of it...it's a family that'll always be there for you.

Bennett
09-16-2010, 14:34
I don’t know if SF changed me or if I just grew up! I joined the Army when I just turned 20, 1977 and SF in 1984 and I was 49 when I left. I spent more time in 10th Group then I did with my Mom and Dad. SF has changed along the way so maybe we grew together. Sure did give me a chance to hone my BS skills, which I come by naturally.

taskforceiron
09-16-2010, 15:27
NM

The Reaper
09-16-2010, 17:26
Yes. I can endure more hardship than most people and I am a much harder worker than what I was as a kid before I enlisted.

tfi:

Have you read the rules at the top of this forum?

TR

1stindoor
09-17-2010, 08:55
tfi:

Have you read the rules at the top of this forum?

TR

:munchin It's also changed what I view as entertainment.

ZonieDiver
09-17-2010, 10:55
No, It formed me. I am what I always was. SF took what had to offer and molded, shaped , formed me into what I became. You learn that there is no problem that can't be solved. If not by yourself then with a team. Impossible situations are not impossible. they're just extreme challenges. challenges that increase the fullness of life. Never ending education of life, people, and events. If you don't posses the raw materials you won't become SF. Blitz

I think this answer is the core of what I would say about "how SF changed me." I was very much a loner and individualist - relied on myself almost exclusively, prior to SF. SF taught me how to function as an integral part of a team. I think there must have been a part of the extensive testing I underwent that measured that ability... CAN this person function as a member of a team.

I already knew how to "not quit" from my days as a cross country runner with absolutely NO talent (at least that is what my coach said). I knew quitting was almost all mental, but SF training reinforced that knowledge to the Nth degree. I saw men with much greater "raw materials" than I possessed, who could have been great SF soldiers, except for one thing, fall by the wayside. That one thing they lacked was the will NOT to quit, when things got very tough. That is when SF soldiers rise to the occasion - when it gets very, very tough.

Many people loved the Rambo movies. I was totally disappointed - not so much for the absolute BS of what he could do, but for the absolute lack of a TEAM! Whatever Rambo was, he was NOT SF. At least the "A Team" had a team! :D

Utah Bob
09-17-2010, 11:11
Top Ten Things SF did for Me:

It exhilarated me.
It exhausted me.
It challenged me.
It scared me.
It matured me.
It amused me.
It saddened me.
It uplifted me.
It strengthened me.
It humbled me.

ZonieDiver
09-17-2010, 11:15
It humbled me.

Well said! That is something that has constantly happened to me since my first exposure to SF, and continues to this day - at an ever accelerating pace.

I am constantly reminded of the remark by the admiral at the end of the movie "The Bridges of Toko Ri": "Where do we find such men...?"

x SF med
09-17-2010, 12:20
SF made me live up to my own expectations.
SF made me realize I had nothing to prove to anybody else, I proved to myself what I needed to know (and those that matter needed to know) by graduating the Q course.
SF gave me a family of brothers that expect more of me than the rest of the world, and the desire to live up to those expectations.
SF refined my sense of Honor and my sense of Integrity.
SF took raw material and refined it, shaped it, and honed it into somebody I like.

GSquared
09-21-2010, 09:33
Well, being in the Army has given me the tools to succeed in the civilian world, and being a support guy in group has further sharpened those tools. Some people need the big Army mentality, others don't, but it's all the way it is because it works. Different people get different things out of their experience.

wet dog
09-21-2010, 23:26
I remember sitting in the bleachers when James Ward (WWII, Burma Det 101) visited.

"Men, Special Forces is a mistress. Your wives will envy her because she will have your hearts, your wives will be jealous of her because of the power to pull you away. This mistress will show you things never before seen and experience things never before felt. She will love you only a little, suducing you to want more, give more, die for her. She will take you away from the ones you love, and you will hate her for it, but leave her you never will, but if you must, you will miss her, for she has a part of you that will never be returned intact.

And in the end, she will leave you for a younger man."

Team Sergeant
09-22-2010, 10:20
I remember sitting in the bleachers when James Ward (WWII, Burma Det 101) visited.

"Men, Special Forces is a mistress. Your wives will envy her because she will have your hearts, your wives will be jealous of her because of the power to pull you away. This mistress will show you things never before seen and experience things never before felt. She will love you only a little, suducing you to want more, give more, die for her. She will take you away from the ones you love, and you will hate her for it, but leave her you never will, but if you must, you will miss her, for she has a part of you that will never be returned intact.

And in the end, she will leave you for a younger man."

That is most profound....without a doubt the saddest day of my life was when I left her....

cback0220
09-22-2010, 17:52
For me it has made me appreciate the following: Being inside when its raining, being cool when it is hot, being warm when it is cold, being full when I am hungry and sleeping when I am tired. These are all things every soldier has prolly grown to love. My girlfriend laughs at me when I get giddy because it is pouring down rain outside and I am dry and warm in a building.

dennisw
01-05-2011, 21:22
Just wanted to say this thread has been more helpful than anything I've read so far. Great hearing yall's opinion, keep em coming.

I have to say some of the responses in this thread are some the most interesting I've read on this forum. I'm looking forward to hearing what some of the new QP members have to say. For the record:

1) One of the mods changed the title of this thread and they need to change it back to what it was originally, because it was always about becoming a SF soldier and not about being in the Army;

2) Some folks have said some interesting things, even poetic., but have not answered the question: Wetdog are you out there?

Dusty
01-05-2011, 21:30
If you're SF, there's no need to articulate the experience to another guy who's SF; it's impossible to do so to one who's not.

IMO

alelks
01-05-2011, 21:33
I came in young, dumb, and full of &^^.

Now I'm old wise and my bones ache!

Absolutely the best experience of my life and it was an honor to serve.

Oh yea, I tear up every damn time I hear the Star Spangled Banner. Where the hell did that come from?

Dusty
01-05-2011, 21:35
My bones ache!

You're prolly not eating your bowl of ibu every morning...

Richard
01-05-2011, 21:39
Oh yea, I tear up every damn time I hear the Star Spangled Banner.

Taps does it to me; can't help it.

...my bones ache!

I hear that! ;)

I'm just trying to not outlive my pecker nowadays.

Richard :munchin

Dozer523
01-05-2011, 21:40
If you're SF, there's no need to articulate the experience to another guy who's SF; it's impossible to do so to one who's not.

IMOBut, Dusty we all like to tell and hear "our" stories. And the clueless look on the "an-others" faces are enjoyable. too.:D


Agree with returning to the original title. This is a "Special Forces Question" woe unto those non-QP who post a word here. We ought not to encourage bad behavior. the only change "the Army" did for me was position me to go SF and make me want to get away from those conventional types.:p

wet dog
01-05-2011, 22:18
I have to say some of the responses in this thread are some the most interesting I've read on this forum. I'm looking forward to hearing what some of the new QP members have to say. For the record:

1) One of the mods changed the title of this thread and they need to change it back to what it was originally, because it was always about becoming a SF soldier and not about being in the Army;

2) Some folks have said some interesting things, even poetic., but have not answered the question: Wetdog are you out there?

This thread I had to re-read, it reminds me of the Boy Scout thread asking a similar question.

I posted earlier, http://professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=349446&postcount=74

but I never answered the direct question, but will attempt to do so now.

For the Record:

"I'm not the way I am because of Special Forces, I was in Special Forces because of the way I am."

Wet Dog

ZonieDiver
01-05-2011, 23:51
How has Special Forces changed me? It has given me the knowledge that I have a great many brothers - good friends - whom I have not yet even met. As one ages, that is reassuring.

mark46th
01-06-2011, 11:31
"It taught me to be humble"...

Definitely. But as a corrollary to that, it taught me when to speak up, hopefully before someone gets hurt.

"Being inside when its raining, being cool when it is hot, being warm when it is cold, being full when I am hungry and sleeping when I am tired. "

I still hate to eat outdoors when there is a perfectly good table inside...

Richard
01-06-2011, 11:53
It helped me prioritize what's important in my life - being a free man, an American, an SF soldier, a husband and father - in that order.

Richard :munchin

dennisw
07-04-2014, 11:52
Gentlemen,

This is an old thread which I find myself rereading from time to time. There are many threads and posts on this board which provide insight into the World of Special Forces. However, I have found the previous posts in this thread to be especially poignant. I hope QP's will continue to share their particular insight.

Dennis

TrapperFrank
07-04-2014, 21:09
I like to tell folks that I learned four things in the army: 1) Make a decision 2) Own your screw ups 3) Make your screw ups right and 4) How to work with people I did not particularly like for a greater organizational good.

alelks
07-04-2014, 21:34
Has it changed me?

Back is shot, knees are shot, shoulders are shot, had 3 hernias. Other than that I'm good to go.

So many good comments on this thread. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat but I'd try my best to be easier on my body if possible.

Flagg
07-04-2014, 22:46
For me it has made me appreciate the following: Being inside when its raining, being cool when it is hot, being warm when it is cold, being full when I am hungry and sleeping when I am tired. These are all things every soldier has prolly grown to love. My girlfriend laughs at me when I get giddy because it is pouring down rain outside and I am dry and warm in a building.

The question I always ask guys from around the world who've completed assessment/selection courses is:

"What was the first thing you ate when you finished?"

I have yet to meet a soldier who can't answer that question instantly and in great detail. :)

For me, the biggest change has been a slice of knowledge earned learning hands on how the body is capable of achieving far more than the mind will typically let it.

Which has led me to learning as much as I can about human performance to help other soldiers gain from the experience as I did.

Basenshukai
07-05-2014, 00:47
Ever since becoming an SF soldier:

1) When out in the great outdoors, I don't see beautiful landscapes. I see potential ambush points, danger areas, restrictive terrain, and potential patrol bases.

2) Whenever I enter a place, I look for exits, I assess everyone I can for threats.

3) When in my car, I never come so close to the car in front of me that I can't see his rear tires. I also look for exit points at any stops.

4) I never park without an "out" if I can help it.

5) I'm never unarmed.

6) The mission comes first, the men come next, and then me. Chow time follows a similar order.

7) PT has gone from being just performance enhancing to also becoming "preventive maintenance".

8) Critical thinking is part of the job; not just something I learned somewhere between college and graduate school.

9) I have come to learn that "systems" are managed, while "people" are led. Whenever this concept becomes confused, it is time to become a civilian.

10) Meetings should last no more than 27 minutes.

11) Powerpoint slides should have no more than four bullets per slide, and no more than 10 slides. If any longer, your concept is lacking clarity and you are reaching for a crutch.

12) Nothing takes just "five minutes".

13) If an email recipient is within 100 meters, go see him/her in person unless this is impossible.

14) Phone calls are better than emails. Face-to-Face better than phone calls.

15) A unit that has any soldier that is so critical that he can't be absent for any reason is a poorly led unit.

16) The kitchen utensils area at Kohl's might as well be an armory.

17) Books are not kryptonite.

18) The gym is part of the office (so is the range).

19) There are three critical questions to ask if one must make a hasty incoming commander's assessment of an SF unit: a) When is the last time the men shot their weapons and what are their scores, b) What was the last time a real APFT was conducted, and what were the scores, c) When was the last time the men had the opportunity for time off with their families?

20) "I'm an SF soldier." I really do think that thought every morning. It brings a smile to my face.

Scimitar
07-05-2014, 01:18
Great post Sir,


3) When in my car, I never come so close to the car in front of me that I can't see his rear tires. I also look for exit points at any stops.

Is this because this allows room to maneuver around car in front in a single motion?



10) Meetings should last no more than 27 minutes.

A short meetings a good meeting, but why 27 min?


12) Nothing takes just "five minutes".

14) Phone calls are better than emails. Face-to-Face better than phone calls.

So true!


9) I have come to learn that "systems" are managed, while "people" are led. Whenever this concept becomes confused, it is time to become a civilian.

May I steal this one?

S

Trapper John
07-05-2014, 08:19
Love Basenshukai's 20 Things :lifter

I came into SF at 19 (SF Baby) an orphan child of living parents. I was literally raised by SF at a very formative stage in my life. I entered in 1969 and left during the rift in '75 when groups were being deactivated and I feared being transferred to a Regular Army unit. After long talks with a few mentors and some restless nights, I sadly decided to go back to school. The fire and anger in my belly subsided after about 10 years and I came up for air 2 marriages later with a PhD and a burgeoning career as a medical research scientist and entrepreneur. The rest as they say is history.

But at the core of my being is SF and the lessons taught to me by giants among men. Everything I think and do is tied back to that which I learned and experienced in SF. In fact, I just wrote a strategic plan for internal consumption by my company's leadership (who all just coincidentally have a SF connection in their background), well that strategic plan looks and reads like a UW mission statement.

And on the day that I die my last thought will be of my Brothers as I look forward to reuniting with them in Valhalla. I have said before that if I ever get a chance at another life, God, let it be as a Special Forces soldier.

Basenshukai
07-05-2014, 12:35
Great post Sir,

Is this because this allows room to maneuver around car in front in a single motion?

You are close. A motor vehicle's design is such that the driver should be able to maneuver around an object within his view from a stop. So, if you can see the tires of the vehicle in front of you, you should be able to drive around him, on either side, from a stop. This is more difficult to do in a place like NYC, where if you leave an extra inch of space in front of you, a yellow cab will attempt to squeeze in. This is an application of an old SF concept of not putting your patrol base against a cliff, for example (don't box yourself in).


A short meetings a good meeting, but why 27 min?

The Human Selective Sustained Attention Span has been calculated at somewhere between 10 and 40 minutes, depending on the study. I have found that, in light of the myriad of things going on in the unit on any given day, the best time span is just over 20 minutes, but less than 30 minutes.

But, I have rule for my meetings: First, I prefer to do them standing up. I came across this concept from an article in Forbes magazine about three years ago. I also heard that Donald Rumsfeld used the technique. I tried it during my second company command while on deployment. Standing up during a meeting keeps folks from getting too comfortable and eliminates the BS. People tend to get to the point quickly.

I also do not allow for sidebars, or "hyperlinking". A lot of time is wasted when a single comment in a meeting brings up an issue that has little importance, but is discussed for several minutes. Also, if a person must make an "alibi" comment to the group, it must apply to the group, not to two or three people. If it applies to only a few, I leave it upon said person to conduct their own micro-meeting after my meeting, so as not waste anyone's time.

When I deployed with my company, the first thing I did was eliminate three meetings of five that were part of the previous company's rhythm. Meetings are generally a huge time waster as they force officers and NCOs to spend precious time preparing, briefing, and then discussing their brief. I found that my guys generally lost 1 additional hour, for every 30 minute meeting. Far more can be accomplished if a unit has extra time than if it has extra meetings.



May I steal this one?

S

If you wish.

spottedmedic111
07-05-2014, 14:40
Ever since becoming an SF soldier:

Excellent post. Wish I'd thought of it.

Scimitar
07-05-2014, 17:16
All

Thank you Sir,

The stand up principle is definitely interesting, I might just try that at the office and see what results we get.

S

cowboykpy
07-05-2014, 19:56
All


Sir, I wish more meeting holders were exposed to your ideas. :D

Seriously, one of the more insightful posts I've read in a while.

WarriorDiplomat
07-10-2014, 10:28
Serving in Special Forces is identical to the OSS James Ward quote, You can choose the job the career chooses you hence why so few enlisted are in it for the long run. I have hated my job and my unit and I have loved my job, my unit and the mission intensly.

How my experience has changed me, as all here have stated the career chose me I was compatible and this is what I was born and bred to be. My Uncle does our ancestry and have traced relatives back almost a 1,000 years to the crusades buried in Jeruselam all the wars in between to include Vikings on my mothers side to the sons of the American revolution, the Civil War 2/3 fighting for the North and 1/3 for the South, WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam etc...if there is any truth to Eugenics and I believe there is my pedigree is that of a soldier period.

My views have changed somewhat I am more cynical however my core beliefs have never shaken, I can see clearer through my early idealism the realism of the world and the people within.

I have developed compassion for people and dislike towards politicians. We fight wars with people who are completly outmatched and politicians call everything we do heroism, yet the enemy outnumbered and overpowered will stand and fight and never quit in the face of overwhelming adversity. I have gained a greater respect and admiration for the resiliency of the people we call bad guys. How many would stand against a giant and welcome death for the cause? I have learned not to hate the enemy but respect and admire their willingness to die for their belief. We come home to a country allowing liberals to suppress ours and impose their beliefs on us disgusts me. I do not want to get into semantics on this we all have our thoughts and feelings.

The Infantry is blessed by God, they are warriors through and through no confusion on what they do boots on the ground to hunt the enemy. Watched a Bradley drive into a gunfight heard bullets hitting the side ping, ping the ramp came down Sarge stepped out and gave the order "follow me" and everyone of his soldiers followed him without hesitation. I have never felt so proud of our soldiers than to see the soldiers follow their leader under fire without hesititation now thats leadership."God Bless the Infantry".

My belief in what we stand for is stronger I love America deeper than I ever have, freedom is precious we have all seen enough things to know how sweet freedom really is. This deeper devotion I have to my country has made more critical of our leaders to understand the great responsibility they have to lead the greatest country on earth.

Trapper John
07-10-2014, 10:43
Entire Post

Beautiful! :lifter

Brush Okie
07-10-2014, 11:13
Ever since becoming an SF soldier:

1) When out in the great outdoors, I don't see beautiful landscapes. I see potential ambush points, danger areas, restrictive terrain, and potential patrol bases.

2) Whenever I enter a place, I look for exits, I assess everyone I can for threats.

3) When in my car, I never come so close to the car in front of me that I can't see his rear tires. I also look for exit points at any stops.

4) I never park without an "out" if I can help it.

5) I'm never unarmed.

6) The mission comes first, the men come next, and then me. Chow time follows a similar order.

7) PT has gone from being just performance enhancing to also becoming "preventive maintenance".

8) Critical thinking is part of the job; not just something I learned somewhere between college and graduate school.

9) I have come to learn that "systems" are managed, while "people" are led. Whenever this concept becomes confused, it is time to become a civilian.

10) Meetings should last no more than 27 minutes.

11) Powerpoint slides should have no more than four bullets per slide, and no more than 10 slides. If any longer, your concept is lacking clarity and you are reaching for a crutch.

12) Nothing takes just "five minutes".

13) If an email recipient is within 100 meters, go see him/her in person unless this is impossible.

14) Phone calls are better than emails. Face-to-Face better than phone calls.

15) A unit that has any soldier that is so critical that he can't be absent for any reason is a poorly led unit.

16) The kitchen utensils area at Kohl's might as well be an armory.

17) Books are not kryptonite.

18) The gym is part of the office (so is the range).

19) There are three critical questions to ask if one must make a hasty incoming commander's assessment of an SF unit: a) When is the last time the men shot their weapons and what are their scores, b) What was the last time a real APFT was conducted, and what were the scores, c) When was the last time the men had the opportunity for time off with their families?

20) "I'm an SF soldier." I really do think that thought every morning. It brings a smile to my face.


Great words of wisdom. May I send them to Ms. Okie who had a directer level position at a hospital.

Bechorg
07-16-2014, 07:12
Like you, I came in as an SF baby in 2006 at the tender age of 18. I had zero life experience and I felt as if the cadre could only assess my potential to do good work. The lack of experience made me push myself to the front. Luckily my physical efforts made up for my immaturity that would later be flushed out in the Q and on the team.

SF taught me that I was not the best, barely average, and I would have to fight every single day to stay afloat. Many times I was "that guy" who didn't have his stuff together and was the one to blame for failure. I continue to put in extra work just to feel average. That grit has been acquired over the years through hard work. I am still here, I am still learning, and I am still average. Honesty has been my best friend and got me through some tough times when I was to blame.

I showed up to my team and deployed two months later. We did three trips to Afghanistan and I was considered a go to guy by the second trip. After the third one I decided to get out, mostly because I had lost myself somewhere along the way and I needed to see something else. It was a huge mistake, but the lessons from it are profound.

My break in service from SF showed me the most. My encounter with the civilian world was depressing. SF soldiers live on another level of life. You can't replicate it anywhere else in the working world. The lack of brotherhood and lack of purpose left me feeling like I didn't have a reason to wake up in the morning.

Love Basenshukai's 20 Things :lifter

I came into SF at 19 (SF Baby) an orphan child of living parents. I was literally raised by SF at a very formative stage in my life. I entered in 1969 and left during the rift in '75 when groups were being deactivated and I feared being transferred to a Regular Army unit. After long talks with a few mentors and some restless nights, I sadly decided to go back to school. The fire and anger in my belly subsided after about 10 years and I came up for air 2 marriages later with a PhD and a burgeoning career as a medical research scientist and entrepreneur. The rest as they say is history.

But at the core of my being is SF and the lessons taught to me by giants among men. Everything I think and do is tied back to that which I learned and experienced in SF. In fact, I just wrote a strategic plan for internal consumption by my company's leadership (who all just coincidentally have a SF connection in their background), well that strategic plan looks and reads like a UW mission statement.

And on the day that I die my last thought will be of my Brothers as I look forward to reuniting with them in Valhalla. I have said before that if I ever get a chance at another life, God, let it be as a Special Forces soldier.

Noslack71
07-17-2014, 07:00
I fell into unconditional Love with the American Soldier and our country on a no name LZ in or near Laos in 1971. I have not always liked some of things they have done but, my Love for both continues to grow with each day I am alive!!!


Noslack

booker
07-18-2014, 14:12
The Human Selective Sustained Attention Span has been calculated at somewhere between 10 and 40 minutes, depending on the study. I have found that, in light of the myriad of things going on in the unit on any given day, the best time span is just over 20 minutes, but less than 30 minutes.

But, I have rule for my meetings: First, I prefer to do them standing up. I came across this concept from an article in Forbes magazine about three years ago. I also heard that Donald Rumsfeld used the technique. I tried it during my second company command while on deployment. Standing up during a meeting keeps folks from getting too comfortable and eliminates the BS. People tend to get to the point quickly.

I also do not allow for sidebars, or "hyperlinking". A lot of time is wasted when a single comment in a meeting brings up an issue that has little importance, but is discussed for several minutes. Also, if a person must make an "alibi" comment to the group, it must apply to the group, not to two or three people. If it applies to only a few, I leave it upon said person to conduct their own micro-meeting after my meeting, so as not waste anyone's time.

When I deployed with my company, the first thing I did was eliminate three meetings of five that were part of the previous company's rhythm. Meetings are generally a huge time waster as they force officers and NCOs to spend precious time preparing, briefing, and then discussing their brief. I found that my guys generally lost 1 additional hour, for every 30 minute meeting. Far more can be accomplished if a unit has extra time than if it has extra meetings.

Your methods mesh with the Agile/Scrum methods of timeboxing meetings and managing projects (which is how I run my projects). Good stuff, especially the standing part for meetings. I'll try that one first thing Monday morning. I keep meetings 15 minutes or less for anything other than a planning meeting, which is typically a maximum of 8 hrs for a complex project of 30-45 days in length. They get shorter as the project timeline gets shorter. Everyone hates unnecessary meetings. I do a walking meeting for a maximum of 15 minutes on a daily basis for my team to give me a SITREP on what they did the day before, what they plan on doing today that will meet the project goals, and what barriers they have or may have in the next 24 hours. That keeps things to only necessary information and prevents some blowhard from ruining everyone else's day with mindless BS (there is always one of these in every crowd), and it allows me to meet any issues before they get out of hand.