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NousDefionsDoc
01-26-2004, 20:08
The question is often asked "How can I prepare myself for the challenges that lie ahead?" or "How can I harden my mental attitude while hardening my body?" referring to SFAS, SFQC, life on a Team or life in general.

Look around you and consider what others are doing. You can learn much, about them and especially yourself.

If you are a young person, watch your friends. Do they have to be told repeatedly to perform routine tasks? Or do they take the initiative? Are they focused on the task at hand? Are they aiming at the 25 meter target? Or are they always trying to get over? Are they flitting from one goal to another, not really achieving anything substantial in the process?

Take a moment and consider the person or persons you admire most. What traits do they exhibit?

If you have the opportunity, go to your local shooting range. Before you jump in there, watch the others for a few minutes. We're looking for a specific type here. If you talk to them, they will probably claim to be a "regular shooter". They will readily tell you they shoot "X" number of rounds a month. (You may need a mirror!)

They go to the range. Put the target perfectly square to them. Then they proceed to slow fire the box of ammo into the absolute tightest shot group they can. Then they brag to their buddies they shot this tiny hole.

A professional trainer calls the phenomenon Marksmanship Masturbation. Why such a derrogatory term? Because the only reason they train that way is to make themselves
feel good.

You want to be like that guy at the end of the range by himself repeatedly clearing malfunctions with only his weak hand, then firing two to the chest, one to the head. Not fun training, good training.

It is human nature to want to do things we do well, especially when others are observing. This tendency is not conducive to self-preservation or self-improvement. You are not developing new skills when you train in this manner.

Just like hardening your body, you must train your mind in order to get it to peak condition. And just like your body, as your mind adapts to the new challenges, you must increase the load.

Here are a few ways to harden your mind.

Always do the hard thing first - ALWAYS. For example: If you would rather go hungry than eat spinach and your Mom serves spinach for dinner - eat it first and ask for seconds. If you hate math and have math and science homework - do the math first and do extra work. If you really want to sleep in on Saturday -go mow the lawn without being told, then clean the garage. If you would rather work your biceps (beach muscles) than your legs in the gym - do your legs twice. You will not be asked to curl your rucksack.

Make a conscious effort to be positive as much as possible. Look at life's daily challenges as opportunities for excellence instead of problems to be suffered.

Also, read, research - everything. Find out why most books have pages in multiples of 9. Learn about current events, especially those that pertain to your goal Group's area of operations. Study history - those who do not are doomed to repeat it. Learn as much as possible about whichever group is considered the primary threat to the US at the time. Find out what a joule is. Learn the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Learn the principles of radio wave propagation. Research the history of explosives. Read a book. Sit up straight. Walk with a sense of purpose. Be disciplined in everything you do.

Always do the right thing, in your dealings with others and yourself. Do the right thing even if you know the decision will be unpopular and you will be criticized.

They call it "Special" Forces for a reason.

Perfect practice makes perfect. Train Hard. Never Quit.



Inspriation from the Way and the Power by Fredrick Lovret.

The Reaper
01-26-2004, 20:22
Great advice.

Thanks, Teammate.

TR

NousDefionsDoc
01-26-2004, 20:26
A sus ordenes

Surgicalcric
01-26-2004, 22:05
Thank you NDD.

Your thoughts on life and SF in particular, are insightful as always. You have a way of getting right to the point of the matter.

James

CPTAUSRET
02-02-2004, 13:40
NDD:

Great post:

Terry

Kyobanim
03-09-2004, 18:23
That's advice for everyone. Outstanding.

NousDefionsDoc
04-06-2004, 21:49
Further thoughts on the topic. Just my thoughts and rantings in no particular order.

If you are attempting to enter into the Special Forces way of life, there are some things you need to think about.

I have read several books about SF, SAS, SEALs, etc. In many of them, the principle theme seems to be "We wore our hair long" or "We wore blue jeans" "Or I punched my CO in the face". Now, I realize that a lot of this is written to make people go "Oooh" and "Aaah". But that is not the mark of a professional in my book.

Every profession has a uniform and a code. I love lawyers, because believe it or not, they are very regimented, like a soldier. Look at a lawyer. What is he selling? He's selling knowledge of the law yes, but more than that, he's selling confidence. He knows he's going to win. Look at how he dresses. Conservative suits. Why? Because a conservative suit is his uniform. It exudes seriousness, confidence. Most of them are very well-groomed and well mannered most of the time. They are in a serious business. People's lives or millions of dollars hang in the balance. There are always exceptions of course. The guy that wears the leather jacket with fringe and the pony-tails.

I have seen schoolteachers that could silence a roomful of 9 year-olds just by walking in the room and Moms that could freeze halt a kid on a dead run from 50 meters with a look. Its not fear so much as it is respect.

A soldier is in a serious business as well. If he is in a leadership position, he must exude that same serious confidence to his subordinates.

The best SF soldiers I ever knew wore their uniforms with pride. You could hear the starch popping from down the block and shave in the shine on their boots. If they were ever told they needed a haircut, it was when they were already on their way to the barber shop.

Looking like a rag bag isn't cool because its different. Its the mark of a sloppy amateur.

Without exception, every SF troop is at least an NCO, if not by paygrade then by position. Leadership by example is the hallmark of an NCO. How can you set the example when you look like a duffle bag?

There are cases when it is simply not possible to be squared away. My partner and I came off a week in the field with host nation forces once in which a real world incident occured while we were out. So we were tasked to do some other things not on the training schedule. Our uniforms were rags when we finished, but the insides of our weapons were spotless and first chance we had, we got cleaned up.

Look at the private sector guys on the news from Iraq. Even though they are not in anymore, they don't look like a clown show. They have gear that works, and they LOOK squared away. Even with their little ball caps.

Looking professional doesn't necessarily make you professional, but rarely is it the case where someone that looks like a ragbag is a professional.

The old Samurai had some good thoughts on this. Looking professional, handling your weapons and equipment with quiet confidence and skill, walking erect and with a sense of purpose, always being area and situation aware - all these are what I look for when trying to identify potential friends or professional adversaries. These are the dangerous people.

I had a Team Sergeant once that in the 3 years I worked for him, I never knew for sure if he was carrying a pistol or not. He was so professional I didn't care and really didn't think to ask. I just knew he would be there if I needed him with whatever the situation required. I couldn't imagine anyone even thinking about trying to lay a hand on him, his attitude and demeanor made it unthinkable.

That is a Quiet Professional.

NousDefionsDoc
04-06-2004, 21:56
I have also seen, especially recently, people complaining about the prices of weapons and equipment, settling for less than what they need because of cost or trying to "bargain" for a better deal.

With furniture or a used car, that's fine and I'm all for getting the best possible deal and not wasting anything needlessly.

But think about it for a minute. These are the tools of your trade. You are betting your life on them. Do you really want to buy your Body Armor from Crazy Eddie who just went insane and slashed prices?

Do you want to be running through the streets of Bagdead in front of your principle and have your assault pack dump your Kit Kat bars all over the street because you got it for $10 less than the good one?

I would imagine that the Samurai, Roman soldiers, etc., probably spent every last dime they had on the best swords and armor they could find. They knew they were going into battle and soon.

Well guess what?

If you want to save money, do it somewhere else. When it comes to your kit and weapons, don't scrimp. Get the best, pay for it, and when you get back, thank the maker for his pride and professionalism.

NousDefionsDoc
04-06-2004, 22:16
The first step to becoming a warrior is to start thinking, dressing, walking, talking and most of all acting like one.

I'm not talking about wearing BDUs to school. I'm talking about dressing and acting appropriately for the situation.

Your Company Sergeant Major has better things to do than tell you to get a haircut or shine your boots every week.

PT uniform is a uniform. Flashing red lights on sneakers are a no go.

Professionals push the envelope in battle, not with hair, mustaches and shoe shines.

Would you want to see your surgeon fumble screwing around with the scalpel right before you go under? Well that's how I feel about the way a lot of people handle weapons. Learn to use them appropriately. Learn to load, unload, clear, clear malfunctions, etc., in your sleep or send the thing to me and I'll use it.

Same with the blade. If you're going to cut yourself, do it away from professionals and don't come to me to sew you up. (Unless your fingers get in the way while slitting terrorist throats - that one's a gimme.)

Don't be flagging people with weapons, even when there's a red box on the end.

Practice wearing a beret correctly before you don one in public. If I see you in the street with the pizza chef look, I will take it away from you and mail it back to The Reaper.

Don't be the Ugly American in public. Loud obnoxious behavior will get your ass kicked or worse in a lot of places. Smile, consider the incident to be cultural awareness training, and move on.

If you haven't read The Ugly American - do it immediately.

NousDefionsDoc
04-06-2004, 23:07
A former NCO's view on officers:

Officers don't hate you and they do serve a purpose.

Think about it from their point of view for a minute. There is one of them for eleven of you on a Team. (WOs are former enlisted). Eleven experts in their fields, eleven chances to be out run, out PTd, out shot, etc. The Team may have been together for a couple of years and he's the FNG. Everybody's watching him. Can you see how it can be a little overwhelming? Who can he have as his friends until he earns his Team's trust? He'll rarely see the other TLs. The Old Man won't make friends with a cherry Captain. SGM or CSM? Hahaha.

The CO has 6 teams plus the B Team. Figure a full Company with 66 enlisted and WOs on the Teams, plus the Company SGM and NBC dude (?). So 68. And there are a total of 7 officers.

5% rule is always in effect, so 3 or 4 are going to be screwups. They'll take up 90% of the time.

Plus he has to deal with new Team Leaders coming in, the BC, etc.

For every 10 minutes you stand at attention in front of the CO's desk because you screwed up, he probably spent 20 in front of the BC's desk.

The way I see it, the officer's function in SF is to ensure that what the Team is doing fits in with what the Company is doing and right on up the line. Do you, as an 18 NCO, want to go sit in the battle briefings and bring back the poop? He is the strategist. His other job is to take the heat from on high when it comes through that side of the line. Do you want his job?

It takes time to train a Team Leader, both for the Team and the CO. Don't say "He doesn't know anything." He knows what he was taught, just like you. He knows his job, which isn't the same job you have.

I was very fortunate. In my time, I served with the finest officers the Army ever produced. There were a couple that weren't so hot along the way. But guess what, they still beat out an awful lot of their peers just to get to the Team. And the other officers took care of them and sent them on their way. Many of my old Team Leaders are LTCs and above now. The man I admired as a Captain (P) next door is a General.

I recently had a conversation with a young Recon Marine NCO. He was assigned to Embassy duty in a benign country and was unhappy about it. Now, I had heard about this NCO before I met him. The story was that he imbibed and thought it would be funny to call out the Embassy React as a joke. So they all came out armed to the teeth, etc. All the enlisted thought it was funny, as did he after he got his ass chewed and got over it. His LT took the heat for him.

The night in question, we were sitting at a nice bar and he was wearing one of those T-Shirts. He was hitting on the waitresses and talking rather loudly about how he was a Marine and should be in the war. Then he started complaining about his LT. Know nothing, wet behind the ears, officers aren't needed etc.

So I took the opportunity. I said "Look at yourself."

"Huh?"

"Look at you, the Corps gave you a job to do. You've been here two years, you haven't made the slightest effort to learn anything about the language or the culture, you dress like you're in the barracks in one of the better places in town, you're loud and obnoxious and your claim to fame is an alcohol-related incident."

"Yeah, well..."

"As long as the NCO corps continues to act like privates, we will always need officers to take the heat and keep us from doing even more stupid things. Now, can you imagine that new LT of yours getting drunk and calling out the React? Even green and young as he is?"

"No."

"And THAT'S why the military needs officers, among other reasons."

That Marine NCO, thanked me. A couple of months later he was in Iraq as a Platoon Sergeant and sent me an email. He had a green LT over there, but he treated him with respect and they all came home alive. And he and the LT are friends.

An SF Officer is a warrior. He is a professional. That "college boy" with the railroad tracks on his flash could probably stomp a mudhole in your ass if he wasn't duty bound by the code not to do so - some of the really good ones will anyway.

Next time you have not the obligation, but the opportunity to salute one of them, think about that and do it with pride and the respect he deserves.



Or I'll kick your ass.

eyes
04-07-2004, 10:02
...........

2VP
07-19-2004, 21:19
Very humbling thread.

NousDefionsDoc
07-26-2004, 10:22
Character Development Needed in Schools
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 24, 2004 – It's wonderful sometimes for someone to look up at another person and say, "Let me tell you how I feel about what you just said. It was offensive," retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Foley said during the Military Child Education Coalition conference here July 22.

The need for added character development is reflected in things around us every day that are unacceptable, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Foley told attendees at the sixth annual Military Child Education Coalition conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., July 22. Photo by Rudi Williams

The Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient told more than 400 educators, administrators, military leaders, parents and teachers that being able to make such a statement enhances the education process quickly.

He talked about a model for character development as part of the education process, based on a program he established at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point when he was the commandant of cadets from 1992 to 1994. He said he hoped conference attendees would take away thoughts and ideas helpful to them.

Foley said he took a lot of time to assess West Point's mission since 1802 of developing leaders of character for the nation. He asked himself questions such as "What is the mission?" "How are we doing it?" and "How is it being implemented?"

Foley said he looked at the academy's honor code: Cadets don't lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those that do. "There's an honor education process associated with that," he said.

He said he discovered another powerful value. "It was a leader dimension which the cadets get evaluated on," he noted. "There were 12 leader dimensions that each cadet gets evaluated on 16 times over the four-year experience. This leader dimension was called 'consideration of others.'

"Essentially it's treating people with respect and dignity," Foley noted. "We all have that power to treat one another with respect. Unfortunately, sometimes we go down that road of disrespect, for whatever reason."

He read the definition to the audience as "those actions that indicate a sensitivity to and regard for the needs and feelings of others, and in awareness of the impact of one's own behavior on them, being supportive of and fair with others."

He asked about knowing what this is: "What are offensive actions? What are things that I say and do that may offend other people?

"Being supportative and fair to other people is the right way to do business, but are we doing it?" the retired general asked. "Are we establishing ourselves every day to do that?"

Foley laid down two bedrock values for the cadets. "Honor had always been there, but I pushed it over a little and put consideration of others beside it," he noted.

He said, as a result, the honor education program went from 22 hours in 1992 to 50 hours in 1994. "Consideration of others went from zero to 50 hours," Foley noted. "The honor and respect bedrock values had a great impact on the attitudes of behavior, values the cadets addressed every day, and how they felt and learned about being leaders.

"It was so powerful and the results so great that when I went to subsequent assignments, I did the same thing," he noted. "I always empowered the personnel in the organization to do this."

The program can't be implemented just by publishing policy statements and saying it's important, he noted. "Those are good things to do from time to time, but that's not the answer," he emphasized. "You can't show 12 slides to a large group once a year and expect the values to take place."

Foley said he found out that a small-group discussion among 15 to 25 in a classroom environment was the answer. "The idea is that for the participants in the discussion to do all the talking," he said.

"It's facilitated discussion, not teaching," he pointed out. "The discussion could go on for an hour in high school and two hours in college.

Foley had a format called "chairs in a circle," which allowed every member of the group equal opportunity to give their views, attitudes and opinion about a particular moral ethical dilemma.

"We took the tough topics – honorable living, race, gender, violence prevention, substance abuse – all of those things that trouble us in society today," Foley said. "We wanted students to talk about how we're going to resolve some of these issues."

He said the program can be tailored to meet organizational needs. However, he pointed out that some people are troubled with some things when the program is being established.

"The first thing is time," Foley noted. "In the military you've got training schedules. In education you've got classes that have to be taught, and teachers have all these things to do. There's no time.

"Well, we made the time because we thought it was important," the general said. "And we saw the results achieved. We saw we had a better environment. We saw it was more positive. We knew we were minimizing some of these negative influences and incidences. So we made the time."

There's a need for character development, Foley said. "There are incidents occurring in organizations and on college and school campuses – unethical conduct and immoral acts, dishonorable things, violence, harassment and discrimination," Foley said. "It doesn't happen all the time, but it happens enough to have a very negative impact on the organization we belong to.

"That's one of the things that has always troubled me," he said. "When you have an incident, it's not just between a couple of people. It has an impact on the staff and faculty, student body, alumni, parents and external organizations."

He said the character development program could be implemented in any kind of organization involving adults or students, adding that the exposure makes better leaders and citizens. "You also improve the climate. Sometimes we worry about the environment in which we exist because of there are negative influences," Foley said.

Environments are dynamic because things change because of negative influences. "Once this education process takes place in the classroom, it goes outside and expands and grows within that climate," Foley said.

The program also enhances student learning because, according to Foley. "You're minimizing, reducing and eliminating some of the negative influences – harassment, discrimination and other incidents that can occur that are bothersome, things that can occur that preoccupy the minds of some of our students when they're trying to study the academic disciplines."

Foley said when he first started the program, he was concerned about where to get facilitators and how much was it going to cost?

"I was told by somebody, they're right here. They're us. We're them. We're the best ones. We have the passion and the sense of urgency to do this," he said. "So that's the answer: They're the parents, teachers, volunteers just like you are.

"People felt good because they were helping to shape the environment that they're going to be operating in every day as well as enhancing the lives of the students," Foley said.

"When you get people who are concerned about doing the right thing and respectful of one another, they're reaching out every day to care for the people around them in their organization," Foley concluded. "That gives you tremendous synergy."

larfive
07-26-2004, 13:14
NDD,

This particular thread is for me, the most insight thread I have read. It serves as a reminder to us warrior why we are in this serious business, and it teaches the untrained the fundamentals of the warriors code.

Truly a motivating thread. This site should be required reading for anyone wanting to be apart of the spear.

LarV

Razor
07-30-2004, 10:36
50 hours of COO training? Man, I got out just in the nick of time!

The Reaper
07-30-2004, 11:19
Originally posted by Razor
50 hours of COO training? Man, I got out just in the nick of time!

To paraphrase some schools I have attended:

"Its only a lot of reading if you actually do it."

Wise commanders will make the call here.

TR

sandytroop
12-21-2004, 14:35
I always try to focus on two lessons I learned from older smarter soldiers. First, develop selflessness. It's the most important trait you can have in SF (or anywhere). Help others and contribute to the Team's success even if it makes your life temporarily harder.

Then learn Followship. Your points on Officers are well put. We used to say that their job was to sign our ammo requests and tak the blame for the things we break.

The reality is, they have a soldier's job to do, like we all do. When I report to a new unit (like i am going to do the first week of Jan, back to the 19th) the first thing I do is meet the leadership and make sure they all understand my position. I am here to contribute to the success of the Team. I am not here to jerk your chain about my SOCOM hair, or some off the wall uniform I want to wear. I am not here to be Special, I am here to help make the team Special. That means I am here to follow as they lead. That does not mean I am here to be a puppet and just do every dumb thing that comes down the pipe. And I am happy to get out front and lead as the situation presents itself. But the first thing is to follow existing procedures and contribute. Once I know everything I can about the unit, I may choose to offer direction where it hasn't been solicited. But first off, Follow the leaders and be a contributor to the success of your Team.

mumbleypeg
12-26-2004, 14:15
This really is a great thread. I'm rapidly approaching geezehood. I'm a civilian. I still see a lot here to take to heart and apply.

In many ways it reminds me of one of the bell ringing smacks my Dad gave me as a kid. Usually accompanied by the question.."Are You Paying Attention?"

Don't miss the smackdown but the question is still a good one.

Thanks
NDD

Roycroft201
01-19-2005, 17:27
I have a bookmark for this thread in several files on my computer.

Decided to reread it again today.

It is always just as relevant, powerful and cogent as the first time I read it.

Thanks, NDD.

NousDefionsDoc
01-19-2005, 17:32
Glad you guys enjoyed it.

Endorphin Rush
01-21-2005, 12:47
Sage advice, NDD.

tyrsnbdr
01-21-2005, 13:49
NDD, this is great advice and I've already "adjust fire" on my pt plan (big biceps do help w/ pullups, but legs are more important). And I copied your story on the NCO views of Officers and gave it to my PL's. They love it. And any other advice you have, my eyes are open.

STR8SHTR
01-24-2005, 21:00
Excellant post NDD. With your permission, I would like to post it in my office so the Troopers can read it.

NousDefionsDoc
01-25-2005, 05:11
Of course

7th SFG
02-08-2005, 13:53
I am blown away by the knowledge, sincerity and professional courtesy given in this forum.
NDD Your words have impacted me and Im sure others in a mighty way. Your dedication and love for what you do is extremely evident and obvious.
I personally want to thank you and reiterate that what you write isnt in vain there are people out there that appreciate a good wake up call.
I have been here in 7th SFG for a year now and am locked in to attend SFAS this April 26th. The wisdom Im pulling from you and others in this site is fuel for my soul as I begin this new chapter in my Military Career.

Again Thanks

Raven
02-16-2005, 09:38
As a young 18X your insight has provided me with invaluable knowledge on SF, the military, and life in general. I thank you.

jon448
04-27-2005, 11:50
This is perhaps the best and most inspiring thread or even best and most inspiring thing that I have ever read even concerning SF. This should be read by anyone even with the slightest thoughts about trying to become one of the 'Quiet Professionals'.

lksteve
04-27-2005, 22:05
For every 10 minutes you stand at attention in front of the CO's desk because you screwed up, he probably spent 20 in front of the BC's desk.

let me hop on this one...as a detachment commander, i probably got my ass chewed at every commanders meeting for something a guy on my team did or failed to do...stupid stuff..."sir, i didn't salute Major So and So because he's a ******* leg"..."sir, i don't usually get drunk on week nights, but we were bowling"....and i could go on...guys who felt because they were Special Forces soldiers, they could get away with a little extra foolishness...if what i was getting my ass chewed for had professional merit, it would have been easier...i took two or three of those a day regading issues that other SF officers had little or no knowledge of (transferring a perfectly good NCO off of the mountain team i commanded because he suffered from hypoxia...'but he's in excellent condition')
a professional soldier, regardless of rank, doesn't routinely screw up so that his boss is getting his ass chewed on a regular basis...but once a week, when all the Os in the company sat down to hash out the issues of the moment, i was getting lit up like a Christmas tree...and some of the NCOs had the temerity to take offense when i passed on a little of the joy...the team sergeant would get gnawed on at every team sergeant meeting as well...it took about six, eight months, but we passed on some of our blither spirits and schooled a couple of others until we could sit down through an entire meeting without asbestos jockey shorts...

An SF Officer is a warrior. He is a professional. That "college boy" with the railroad tracks on his flash could probably stomp a mudhole in your ass if he wasn't duty bound by the code not to do so - some of the really good ones will anyway.
i don't know where the assertion came up that an officer could't PT with a detachment...i never had that problem...maybe now, the teams are taking better care of themselves...as an SF NCO and later as an SF officer, i would say the better conditioned guys on the team were the officers...

Next time you have not the obligation, but the opportunity to salute one of them, think about that and do it with pride and the respect he deserves.
and here's the way i look at it...when i encountered a guy from my detachment or another SF NCO out and about, it was arguable as to who initiated the salute...as far as i was concerned (and i feel i speak for all the Os i served with), the salute was not subordinate-to-superior, it was professional-to-professional...

Archangel
04-28-2005, 15:10
Truely Professional Soldiers dwell here.

sandytroop
05-03-2005, 10:13
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?"

Surgicalcric
05-03-2005, 10:33
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.

rwt_bkk
05-08-2005, 01:52
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.

NousDefionsDoc
05-08-2005, 14:13
Excellent post Bru.

JGarcia
06-04-2005, 10:24
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....

JGarcia
06-04-2005, 10:33
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....

JGarcia
06-04-2005, 10:35
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.

Abu Jack
06-04-2005, 17:35
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.
Abu Jack Out

Firebeef
06-05-2005, 16:11
Word!

Warrior-Mentor
06-17-2005, 22:45
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

frostfire
11-29-2005, 00:04
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
learning grasshopper

Warrior-Mentor
11-29-2005, 05:59
NDD,
Thanks for starting a great thread.
Just finished re-reading...great stuff.
JM

BMT (RIP)
11-29-2005, 06:42
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!!

Tom Odom
11-30-2005, 11:02
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

JRV3
11-30-2005, 15:19
Thanks for reviving this topic; I hadn't read it yet.

Advice I will definitely take to heart...

Hopeful_20
12-30-2005, 00:41
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

Warrior-Mentor
02-15-2006, 21:58
"Most all good things come through adversity:

Looking back it seems to me,
All the grief that had to be
Left me when the pain was o'er
Stronger than I was before.
- Unknown

"I believe that. We get stronger when we test ourselves. Adversity can make us better. We must be challenged to improve, and adversity is the challenger."

- John Wooden

kgoerz
02-16-2006, 20:34
Is this a new thread or have I been looking at porn to much. Loop has taught you well NDD.......All kidding aside I printed it and I will read it several times. Best info I have seen on here. Once again I will say this is the first page I go to when entering the net.

NousDefionsDoc
02-16-2006, 21:50
Thank you all for your kind words.

NousDefionsDoc
02-18-2006, 23:03
Been thinking some tonight

Just rambling...

I recently saw on another board a phrase I like very much - "We die in the gaps." It wasn't exactly used in our context, but I think it could be, especially with initiative based ops. Gaps interrupt the flow, the Zen-like water wave of the flood. Gaps leave things needed doing undone.

If you have to rush, you probably caused it.

I try to be on the look out for ways to instill mindset in students. But I can do more. It is hard to get them to visualize unless you have the same number of instructors that have been working together for years to give them a demo. Over and over again. Even then, you can't explain it.

There is no substitute for experience and teamwork. You have to train together to fight together. And you have to experiment. New Targets - New Situations.

Mindset and professionalism are more important than we realize a lot of the time. We all spend a lot of time on individual skills - shooting, etc. I'm not sure we spend enough on mind set and team building unless forced to do so. Hanging with the right people I think is a critical element. Both mindset and professionalism are contagious.

We have to study our craft. Knowing the enemy, truly knowing him, will help. In the old days, most warriors personally knew or knew by reputation the individuals they were likely to face. We can't do that now, but we can know the groups inside and out.

There is nothing wrong with saying, "I don't know how." as long as you remedy the situation. On a good team, somebody will have the skill set - ask for help. Get a class on it. Plus cross-training keeps it fresh.

Long discussion on tactics over beer are a must. "How 'bout if we..." has probably solved more opportunities for excellence than anything else. But theory won't get it done, you have to actually try it. SIMs is a great tool for this, but you can usually see if it will work or not on tape.

My kit will never be "right".

Medical skills are perishable. So are comms skills.

There are a lot of skill sets that need practicing. Sometimes you have to get your ass off the range and do other things.

Document what you do, whether it works or not. Re-inventing the wheel is usually a waste of time.

Don't forget to have fun and smile - also contagious. Nobody wants to be on a team with a negative MFer all the time. That shit is also contagious.

"never volunteer" is bullshit.

Check lists are good. So are notes.

Being called "dependable" might not be something you want to say to the wife, but I'll take it.

Be there. Be ready is redundant.

Learn to write. Bunbu Itchi.

If you don't trust him - DX him. Life is short.

They were right about Quiet Professionalism. They didn't know it, they wanted it for all the wrong reasons and they didn't know how to go about getting it - but they were right.

Women shoot better than men, who gives a shit? That tells me something, but I don't know what.

Some people will rise to the occasion when pushed, others won't. Both are good to know - so push.

You only get the amount of respect you demand and deserve. If you aren't getting it, look in the mirror.

Paul Howe gets it.

If your shooting partner is dicked up, it's partly your fault too.

You can go too fast - and often do. Smooth really is fast.

I like the saying "Fight the enemy, not your equipment." You're not doing yourself any favors by scrimping.

Try to get knowledgeable people from outside your org to come critique your training whenever you can and get to that level. If you think you're getting it all, you're fooling yourself.

Be proud if you're good. Toot your own horn every now and then - nobody else will. But you better be able to back it up - because they will damn sure call you on it.

There's no excuse for an instructor not being able to do what he is requiring the studs to do. Be prepared to demonstrate anything in your POI at any time. This means you have to keep your own skills up. If you're going to strap it on, they have a right to ask you to prove it.

We're generally not training or working with stupid people - treat them with the respect they are due and don't abuse the position of instructor.

I can still stack rounds at 100 meters with an AR10 - but I have to focus a lot more than I did when I was 30.

Planning is a good thing. Choreographing is not.

If you're allergic to gunpowder, go work in a fucking bank.

Everbody has a bad day every now and then - it's what you do with it that counts.

Never settle for less than what you came for. It's a bad habit to get into.

I like the saying, "Don't be that guy, be the that 'go to' guy."

"Fook anybody that ain't us" is not necessarily an indicator of a bad attitude.

If you think you've found the "perfect technique" call somebody that knows and they'll screw it up for you.

You can have too many tools in the toolbox. If you're doing your job right, the guy you use it on will never see it again - 'cause he'll be d.e.d. dead.

Alcohol changes people - don't think you know your team mates until you've seen them drunk. Same with stress.

Putting five in a hole from 5 meters with a Glock doesn't impress me - putting two in the kz after a transition and mag change on the move at 16:00 after working all day does.

You have to be good cold and right out of the box if you want to be a Dude. Alot of people are good after they get warmed up. You also have to be good cold and tired and wet and hungry.

Snipers and Breachers are you friends.

Stairs and hallways suck, but all targets have at least one of them.

WWII combatives are simple, easy to learn and they work. Unless you are doing it for enlightment, enjoyment, exercise or fun - you don't need to be a Ninja to kick somebody's ass. They work good inside too - but you should never have to find that out.

Martin
02-19-2006, 03:55
Thank you for all these posts, NDD. Frickin' excellent!

Martin

jatx
02-19-2006, 07:51
Lots of really good stuff here, whatever your endeavor. Thanks!

lksteve
02-19-2006, 11:23
You can have too many tools in the toolbox.which is to say "master the tools you have..."

The Reaper
02-19-2006, 11:28
Well said, brother.

Not to step on your thread, but I would add the following.

Saw Paul last week, he does get it. Anyone sees an op to train with him, take it. You will not be disappointed.

Don't forget that the medic can be your very best friend.:D

I have also learned that it is easy to be good when you are fresh, on a flat range, plinking paper in broad daylight. Show me your skills after the infil, the hump to the target, hurt, against live opponents, in a nasty structure, in the dark.

Video is a great addition to training, especially if it is used properly. Video can end that "yes I did", "no you didn't", "I got you first" line of argument, and makes it easy since if properly placed, the student can critique himself.

Sims are really great, especially when you think you are getting good.

If you take a course, you should always learn something, even if it is something not to do. A course where you learn a new "tool" for that kitbag is a good one. If you learn more than that, it was a great one. Remember that you have more than one hammer in that bag, and don't get stuck on your favorite trick. If the skill you learned is applicable, and you have demonstrated efficacy in training, use it. Remain flexible without becoming completely limp.

Gear doesn't make the man. The mall ninja with $10,000 in Gucci gear will lose to the warrior with a sharp stick every time.

Gunwriters get paid to sell magazines and keep advertisers happy. Not all are as good as you might think, or even as good as you would hope.

There is a never ending battle between perfect, and good enough. Learn to walk the line.

Same holds with gear. You can never carry everything you might need, but you can frequently find youself without something you do need. Men die because of this, and I have lost brothers over it. The ideal situation is to find yourself at the end of the mission having used everything that you carried at least once, and having had a back-up for any mission critical gear.

Learn the difference between need, and want.

Remember PACE. Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency.

The only time you can be carrying too much ammo is when you are trying to swim.

Try not to go out on a mission with unproven or unreliable people. Better to go shorthanded than with people you cannot trust.

Not much to add to what NDD said. Those words are pearls. Thanks brother!

TR

NousDefionsDoc
02-19-2006, 11:38
Excellent points both, thank you both for contributing.

Since kg has become TL, he has been videoing and showing them to the studs after they get a basic feel for it - great tool.

I love PACE

Steve,
I think it is better to master two than know ten.

Five-O
03-16-2006, 07:54
Nous,

Your original post should be posted on every elementry school chalkboard throughout CONUS and integrated into the daily lesson plan, just before they read "Billy has two mommies."

Five-O

lksteve
03-16-2006, 08:32
I think it is better to master two than know ten.yup...no sense having what you can't use in the dark in the rain under stress...

Warrior-Mentor
03-16-2006, 13:13
...at the corner of four map sheets.

Team Sergeant
03-16-2006, 13:17
.......in a denied environment with a bounty on your head..

Warrior-Mentor
03-16-2006, 13:52
Digressing...

"Learn as if you were going to live forever,
Live as if you were going to die tomorrow."

"Know that when you are through learning, you are through."

Martin
03-16-2006, 14:34
Digressing...

"Learn as if you were going to live forever,
Live as if you were going to die tomorrow."

"Know that when you are through learning, you are through."
What's the source on the first one, Sir? Liked that, adding to list.

Thanks.

Martin

Warrior-Mentor
03-16-2006, 19:03
Both are from John Wooden.

Monsoon65
05-14-2006, 00:01
Just stumbled across this tonight. Outstanding information and really hits home.

"If you have to rush, you probably caused it."

This is the truth!!


"Be proud if you're good. Toot your own horn every now and then - nobody else will......"

An old NCO once told me, "It's a sorry dog that doesn't wag it's own tail."

x SF med
05-14-2006, 08:26
NDD, et al
A most excellent post / thread. I was fortunate enought to be in 10th during an experimental training phase - won't give the name - but any guy in 2/10 during the 80's knows what I'm talking about. It truly focused on the mind, and overcoming obstacles - biofeedback, alert sleeping, body sleep - and lots of mind work - reading, studying - and lots of PT. A couple of the required books should be de rigeur for all SF soldiers - the Go Rin No Sho (Book of 5 Rings), The Art of Warfare, The Tactics of Mistake (scifi, but very cogent to this thread), the Power of Personality in War, Men in Arms, and books on logic and ethics. Yes ethics, many people forget how powerful a tool that can be especially in SF, we are the QPs, The Best, when doing our Nation Building (is that still part of Robin Sage?, 3 days of community relations / scut work, which allows future soldiers to train in 'Pineland'?) we have to uphold a higher ethical and moral code than is expected of any other soldier, or even of Congress. It's hard to do the right thing when it is ambiguous, and sometimes flies in the face of 'cililian right'.

We are not only soldiers of the body - we have to be soldiers of the mind also - the basics of soldiering need to be practiced to second nature, team SOPs the same, and we have to be aware that specialization is key, but we are also generalists - every 18D has to be able to shoot better than an 11B, every 18B has to be able to plan and execute a commo plan, all of us have to know enough of our teammates specialties to cover in split team situations - but we also have to be well rounded enough to know more than soldiering - to be warriors, diplomats, ambassadors, teachers, and true professionals.

Training the mind trains the body. Mens sana in corpore sano. And the old sayings from Prephase and Phase 1 still hold - the only easy day was yesterday, FIDO, Wanna quit? ...

my 2 cents - hope it's not too disjointed, or off point.

msgec
05-22-2006, 01:40
.

Warrior-Mentor
05-22-2006, 12:21
PT. Physical smoke will bring a unit together. My old Troop Commander in 3rd ACR used to take us on Troop runs on Fridays...long (for a mech unit), we'd go 5 miles. He'd run 4.5 miles at a pace the 95% of the unit could could hang with. The last 1/2 mile was "gut check" and he'd pick up the pace until it was a full sprint release run. When folks finished, they would feel good. Seemed to help.

That's a start. There's always more to the story, so what's the source of the defeatist attitude? Battle focused training, the kind that leaves you exhausted is a good way to get a unit together. People will bitch during the execution, but when it's over and the beer light is on, morale will improve.

JM

msgec
05-22-2006, 12:43
.

frostfire
07-11-2006, 14:04
I can tell you that the mind is capable of incredible feats. Many times in our everyday lives, it is our body that drives the mind: "I'm hot, I'm tired, I need to stop and rest".
The personality and training of many professional atheletes, and soldiers, is an effort at the opposite-to have the mind drive the body: "Yeah, it sucks-so what. Yeah, I'm tired-big deal. I'd like to rest-I'll do it later when I don't have this other thing to get done."Reading Eagle5US post reminds me of an article I read that is somehow/someway relevant here.



Stoicism gives troops ‘armor for the soul’

Reading material helps Pvt. Shane Berry (top) during Stoic Resilience Training. Capt. Thomas Jarrett uses the works of ancient philosophers.
Baghdad, Iraq— Sgt. Rustin Kilburg sat in the patient’s chair, his head down, his anguished face perched between his hands.

He told the three medics before him of sleepless nights — he was angry with his commanders for putting him “out there,” exposed to suicide bombers and roadside bombs day after day.

The anger within was consuming. He was miserable. He was afraid it would interfere with his soldiering abilities.

The medics attempted to convince Kilburg that he should not dwell on what he could not control. Rather, he should focus on what he could do to make the circumstances less troubling to him.

The training session borrowed heavily from the discourses of Greek philosopher Epictetus: “Of things some are in our power, and others are not.”

Call it armor for the soul.

Soldiers in Iraq are finding that the basic tenets of Greek and Roman stoicism can help relieve stress in the combat zone. That self-control and detachment from distracting emotions can allow clear thinking and levelheadedness.

The soft-spoken Kilburg, who serves in a Gainesville-based infantry unit, was acting the part of a distraught soldier in one of Camp Liberty’s medical centers during a training session for medics who counsel their peers in the war zone.

In the end, Kilburg said, the principles of stoicism — character, strength and resilience — form the essence of a modern American warrior.

Five months ago, Kilburg, distraught over problems with his girlfriend, went to see Capt. Thomas Jarrett, an Army therapist with the 602nd Area Supply Medical Company based at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Jarrett, 44, a longtime student of philosophy, turned Kilburg on to the stoic philosophers, who first appeared in Hellenistic Athens around 300 B.C.

Kilburg became a student and then a peer counselor in the Stoic Resilience Training program, interweaving the principles of stoicism into words of advice for his fellow soldiers in the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Brigade Combat Team.

“Our beliefs are what affect our emotions,” Kilburg said. “And most emotions are needless suffering which comes from distorted beliefs.”

In the past few weeks, soldiers in Kilburg’s unit, Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, have been frustrated over the changes in their timeline to go home. Kilburg, however, has remained calm.

“You’ve got two choices,” he said. “Be frustrated or understand that you cannot control it.”

He said stoics believe there are only four things a person can control: their own actions, emotions, thoughts and desires.

“I cannot control the fact that I am in Iraq right now,” Kilburg said. “I can be miserable, or I can take the view that this is some sort of test that will strengthen me.”

“I came to a war, but this is one of the better things that has happened to me,” said Kilburg of his exposure to philosophical thought.

New career path in mind

He now thinks of returning home and pursuing a degree in philosophy.

Kilburg joined the military in 1998 and has been in an out of college since then. His superiors here call him one of the toughest soldiers in the company; the soldiers on his team respect him and have at one time or another been enlightened by Kilburg and Jarrett and their passion for philosophy.

Stoicism is not new to military culture. The teachings of Epictetus, Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius dovetail well with the military ethos.

Retired Adm. James Stockdale, perhaps best remembered as Ross Perot’s vice presidential running mate in 1992, was a student of philosophy who leaned on stoic beliefs to keep himself sane during the seven years he spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Author Nancy Sherman interviewed Stockdale for her book, “Stoic Warriors,” a look into how stoicism helps soldiers get through the psychological hardships of war.

Kilburg said some people mistake stoicism for the “suck-it-up” and feel-nothing mentality of the Army.

“It’s the Army’s motto, but there’s no method for people to do it,” Kilburg said. “It’s not like [stoicism is] telling you to not feel any emotion. The idea is that there is a bandwidth of emotions.

“The stoic approach would be to say, ‘Hey, I know it’s difficult’ but the level of difficulty depends on how I see the problem. You can put me in the trench lines for 72 hours, but I can be stronger for it. It can be a true test for our souls.”

A calming factor

The No. 1 problem Kilburg hears about is marital woes. He tells his soldiers they cannot control the actions of a spouse back home.

“You can either accept it, or you can move on with your life,” he said.

Kilburg is known to be high-strung at times, a man “who can fly off the handle,” a description he dismisses as a façade.

The study of stoicism has helped calm him, he said. And he has become much more tolerant of people and circumstances.

“Sure I’d love to go home and see my family, but ultimately what benefit is there to get frustrated about it?” he asked.

Kilburg lives by the rule that a true warrior prays for peace but trains for war.

Inner strength and resilience are often lost in today’s military establishment, Kilburg said

“I don’t think we train warriors anymore,” he said. “We’ve completely lost the spirit of a warrior and glorified all the ugliness of war.”


http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/guard/entries/2006/03/29/stoicism_gives.html

POO
07-19-2006, 07:14
Goddamn these are gems! Especially those first posts from NDD. I going through the process of joining 2/19th, and convincing HH6 to allow me to do this. However, last week we had a very heated dicussion about my initial one year enlistment with the 19th. She saying it was a unacceptable risk she was unwilling to take, and that if I did I would be doing it alone. Bascially she'd leave. Now I've been downrange with with 1st and 7th in the 'Stan with my Agency always doing more than was required of me (deloyments were 3 months, I did 6-8)

First thing I did was email the QP that got me into this mindset to go after my dream of becoming a QP. His first reacton:

Adam , it's your program dude, do what you need to do with it and I will leave it at that. Now you know way SF guys have an average wife count of 3 or more. If you ever need anything from me just let me know. Hoop out Here

I responded to him with thanks for his insight, to wit he wrote:

Adam do not do anything that you may regret, althought if you do not reach for the stars you will never get off the ground. The fact of not being SF or being happily married is not going to kill you, but the regret for not doing what you want in life will. So again " do what is most important for you, you only have one shot at life as we know it make it a good one.

All fo this is good advice, but the marriage is not in the best of sits, and I feel if I forgo this opportunity and try and salvage my marriage that I will resent her, and then have it fail, and then me not be able to join the 19th, well that would just piss me off.

It's in my heart, blood, and soul to be a warrior. My Grandfather was with 1st Rangers in WWII, and until his retirement as a LTC my uncle was with 95th CA. I just wish that she would understand.

I know I went off on this crazy tangent, and I'm sorry.

Again NDD great thread and topics, truely gems for us FNGs and even for the experianced QP.

Warrior-Mentor
12-26-2006, 13:14
Good article to help with FRAME OF REFERENCE:

http://www.ultramarathon.com/Dean1.pdf

12 miles isn't long...depending on your frame of reference...

Gene Econ
02-04-2007, 20:36
Reading these posts makes me feel truly blessed to be serving in the profession of arms with men of such caliber.

I have a situation and then a couple of questions.

Situation:
Let's say I know this guy who is a Troop XO. In this Troop of 56 there are 4 other O's. One is a young 2LT coming along well, the other three are mediocre at best. There is a WO, absolutely professional soldier in every aspect. There are 50 E's. Of those, over 30 are NCO's. Of those 30+ NCO's, no less than 20 are mediocre at best. The best part....maybe 5 people in the whole troop actually care and work to make it better. On top of that is the upcoming tour to IZ.

Questions:
What have those of you who have dealt with leadership challenges found to be a quick and effective way of instilling warrior ethos into less than motivated personnel? Not including leading by example, which should be a given. Then again, how do you make a key leader lead by example (O and NCO alike)? How can you train the mind and influence a population that has adopted a defeatist attitude?

-M Baker

Baker:

You note Washington as your address. Sounds good to me.

Are you in 4/2 SBCT or the Guard? It doesn't sound like any Troop in the CAV Battalion in 4/2 anyway.

What type of Troop is this? An HHT perhaps?

Is this Troop Combat Arms, Combat Support, or Combat Service Support?

Is this troop Air Cav?

Yes, to give a decent answer one has to have some understanding of the nature of the beast. If you want permanent success, you have to approach these types of things with an understanding of the culture of the specific type of unit.

You can contact me B/C if you wish.

Gene

Irish_Army01
02-05-2007, 09:47
One of the Best Threads I've ever read..Thanks NDD

Rusty
03-03-2007, 11:55
This is a great weapon in the student's kit. Thanks for the mentorship from NDD, WM and all the other contributers.

Rusty

Wade1066
03-17-2007, 11:57
Thanks for this thread.

Obevokenobi
05-10-2007, 17:15
Very insightful! Although I'm not in the military, the concepts you described apply to life, not just SF candidates (as you pointed out throughout the post). Your post made me examine if I am applying those concepts to my life and job. In some areas, I can say I am doing so without a doubt. However, I can absolutley improve in others and am inspired to do so by your post.

I am a prosecutor and can 100% back up the example you gave of the lawyers and the appearance they convey. I appear in front of judges and juries on a regular basis. I consciously choose dark suits, white shirts and conservative ties becuase I believe, people have a subconcious image of how a prosecutor should look. When I tap into that belief, I am more credible to them. I am also sending and receiving signals from my opponents by the way I dress and groom and the way they dress and groom as well. There are lawyers I know I have beat before I even open my mouth because I know I appear more squared away than they are. (I still hustle and prepare as if they are better so I'm not underestimating my opponent).

From the looks of it, this thread has been around for awhile but is still touching people. I'd take that as a sign of some cogent thinking and anohter reason for me to continue to read, learn and grow. Thanks.

NousDefionsDoc
05-10-2007, 18:24
Note to self: Conduct next crime spree in McKinney, Texas. ;)

Thank you for your kind words all. It is very easy to say these things. More difficult to instill them - in self or especially others.

I am much more professional now than I was at 25. Lot to be said for years of bad and good examples.

x SF med
05-10-2007, 18:46
Note to self: Conduct next crime spree in McKinney, Texas. ;)

Thank you for your kind words all. It is very easy to say these things. More difficult to instill them - in self or especially others.

I am much more professional now than I was at 25. Lot to be said for years of bad and good examples.


Dude - remember- Mckinney cops can call in Dallas cops as backup, take the crime spree to some small town further south in Texas...

Professional is as Professional does - you are.

NousDefionsDoc
05-10-2007, 18:47
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.
Abu Jack Out
Damn fine post. I keep coming back to it.

NousDefionsDoc
05-10-2007, 19:02
Dude - remember- Mckinney cops can call in Dallas cops as backup, take the crime spree to some small town further south in Texas...

Professional is as Professional does - you are.
Brother, I have seen Dallas SWAT on tv and I know....never mind....;)

dr. mabuse
05-11-2007, 12:31
NDD and others, thanks for this thread. It's been a tough year for our family and it's helps more than you know.:lifter

3SoldierDad
06-16-2007, 14:37
Investor Warren Buffett says that he wanted three qualities in the men he worked with - Integrity, Energy, and Intelligence.

He said if they lacked integrity he wanted them lazy and stupid.


Three Soldier Dad...Chuck

.

kgoerz
06-16-2007, 16:45
Reading these posts makes me feel truly blessed to be serving in the profession of arms with men of such caliber.

I have a situation and then a couple of questions.

Situation:
Let's say I know this guy who is a Troop XO. In this Troop of 56 there are 4 other O's. One is a young 2LT coming along well, the other three are mediocre at best. There is a WO, absolutely professional soldier in every aspect. There are 50 E's. Of those, over 30 are NCO's. Of those 30+ NCO's, no less than 20 are mediocre at best. The best part....maybe 5 people in the whole troop actually care and work to make it better. On top of that is the upcoming tour to IZ.

Questions:
What have those of you who have dealt with leadership challenges found to be a quick and effective way of instilling warrior ethos into less than motivated personnel? Not including leading by example, which should be a given. Then again, how do you make a key leader lead by example (O and NCO alike)? How can you train the mind and influence a population that has adopted a defeatist attitude?

-M Baker
Leading by example is a big one. It's not just waving your Arms and saying follow me. It's also something as trivial as reaching down and picking up a piece of trash in your AO. Helping to unload gear with your men. Stepping up to the front to do a Demo. But not often enough to step on toes.
The results of being a successful trainer/leader. Are never obvious and immediate. Its all the little things in people you are training that you notice. Not flagging people when exiting the Arms Room, conversations are more about Tactics, dry firing during breaks, weapons slung across the chest at the ready, not over their back. This transformation is one of the most gratifying things to see.

Elite
07-23-2007, 06:36
Gentleman i have read this thread a good few times now and it`s saved to my favorites list , your good a bunch of guys - with a hell of alot of experiance your words have helped me feel stronger within myself and for that i thank you.

God bless , And good luck

miscmike
08-28-2007, 14:47
When I said in my intro that I found inspiration on this site, this thread is the prime example of that. Thanks very much...

yasnevo
10-20-2007, 14:53
Brother, I have seen Dallas SWAT on tv and I know....never mind....

I've had the opportunity to train with them, great guys, competent and all, but toss a can of hair gell or a pair of mirror Oakleys into a room with them and its an all out fight as to who will get it.

Back to the theme mere. Man, I have to say, that if NousDefionsDoc and MANY, MANY other where to put what they call rants and ramblings on paper and into a selt published book like Paul Howe did... it would sell. Of all the mindset lectures I have heard, all the mindset threads I have read, this is one of the most powerful...

Bar none...this is good.

Y-

Novice Snowflake
11-13-2007, 10:56
Excellent thread, these posts have taught alots and made me really look at myself.

To be the best of the best, the small things do add up real quick.

sofmed
12-10-2007, 02:15
It is an amazing thing, this thread. Many of the topics/opinions/insights, etc. are some of the very things I am teaching my 4 sons about living life.

In the midst of all the wisdom being shared I must say that I am reminded of what then Liuetenant Colonel Hal Moore said about being a soldier and a father:

"I hope that being good at the one helps me be better at the other."

They most definitely cross over. Having three teenagers (and another lagging not far behind --all boys) makes me hope that I'm being the best father I can, as well as the best soldier and NCO possible. People are watching on both sides of the fence, at all times. And even when they aren't it's up to me to do the right thing, regardless of the circumstances.

I thank all of the Quiet Professionals here who are so willing to share, teaching and mentoring by example. Priceless wisdom indeed.

Mick

mdb23
12-10-2007, 02:48
The best SF soldiers I ever knew wore their uniforms with pride. You could hear the starch popping from down the block and shave in the shine on their boots. If they were ever told they needed a haircut, it was when they were already on their way to the barber shop.

Looking like a rag bag isn't cool because its different. Its the mark of a sloppy amateur.

That is a Quiet Professional.

This is great advice fpr those in the LE community as well. If you look at the studies conducted on offenders who had assaulted Officers, the offenders stated that their main factors when determining whether or not to "take on" the LEO were appearance based....... Was his uniform ironed and well maintained, was his leather gear polished, did he look like he was in shape, were his boots shined, what was his demeanor, etc......

If you look like an individual who takes his chosen profession seriously, then people will treat you as such.

Unfortunately, this theory is lost on a large segment of those in my careerfield. Their boots are only shined on inspection days, their uniforms look slept in and have yesterday's lunch on the front, and their leather gear has faded from black to brown. It's ridiculous.

I always made sure that my uniform was pressed with sharp creases, that my boots were highly shined, and that my leather gear was well maintained. I have kept myself in shape like my life depends on it, because it does, and thugs on the street can see that. I never got messed with the way that some of the "Joey Bag O' Doughnuts" cops did, and in my opinion it was based on the way that I presented myself. I never treid to talk ghetto slang to suspects, maintained a professional manner, and kept the boundaries clear.

Was I tested? Sure. But not to the extent that some of the overweight, wrinkled shirt wearing cops were.

Great thread, great advice for people in any number of careers. Great read.

Ryval
01-28-2008, 11:27
Thank you all for this thread. As mdb23 stated, the information here is golden to L.E. as well.

I am putting together a 'Warrior Mindset' course for recuits and I teach an Active Shooter course. Requesting permission to use some quotes from this thread in my courses?

Team Sergeant
01-28-2008, 11:52
Thank you all for this thread. As mdb23 stated, the information here is golden to L.E. as well.

I am putting together a 'Warrior Mindset' course for recuits and I teach an Active Shooter course. Requesting permission to use some quotes from this thread in my courses?

As long as you quote the source have at it.;)

TS

Ryval
01-28-2008, 12:06
As long as you quote the source have at it.;)

TS

Copy, Team Sergeant. Thank You.

sofmed
04-08-2008, 14:20
Just wanted to share this mindset. It speaks volumes of what to be, or not to be.

Enjoy.

Mick



IN THE TEST KITCHEN OF LIFE

A young woman was complaining to her father about how difficult her life had become. He said nothing, but took her to the kitchen and set three pans of water to boiling. To the first pan, he added carrots; to the second, eggs; and to the third, ground coffee. After all three had cooked, he put their contents into separate bowls and asked his daughter to cut into the eggs and carrots and smell the coffee. "What does this all mean?" she asked impatiently.

"Each food," he said, "teaches us something about facing adversity, as represented by the boiling water." The carrot went in hard but came out soft and weak. The eggs went in fragile but came out hardened. The coffee, however, changed the water to something better.

"Which will you be like as you face life?" he asked. Will you give up, become hard -- or transform adversity into triumph? As the "chef" of your own life, what will you bring to the table?

Lothar
04-09-2008, 04:32
Originally posted by mdb23

Was his uniform ironed and well maintained, was his leather gear polished, did he look like he was in shape, were his boots shined, what was his demeanor, etc......

If you look like an individual who takes his chosen profession seriously, then people will treat you as such.


Amen to that. There is one guy in my unit that pretty regularly ends up fighting/chasing some turd and it has to be cause he looks like Chris Farley in a police uniform...good officer, just looks like Joe Bag O'Donuts.

If you take pride in yourself and in your profession then people will see that and respect you as the individual and not simply because you are a police officer.

JMI
04-12-2008, 04:24
I think I definitely need to check myself. Rushing into the 18x contract does not seem like a good idea. I have a lot to prepare for after what you said. I think it might even be good for me to go Rangers first and get some combat under my belt. As scary as that sounds. Wow, I got a lot to think about.:(

This site has that effect on people. I am a civilian and I read this thread almost weekly. One of the axioms I spread daily is something NDD wrote:

OBSTACLES ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXCELLENCE.

It is a daily experience for me.

Books
04-15-2008, 19:58
This site has that effect on people. I am a civilian and I read this thread almost weekly. One of the axioms I spread daily is something NDD wrote:

OBSTACLES ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXCELLENCE.

It is a daily experience for me.

Or, as Donald Shimoda said in the seventies, "Every problem has a gift for you in its hands; you seek the problems because you need the gift." Bonus points to who ever knows who Donald Shimoda is.:D

sofmed
04-16-2008, 07:46
Or, as Donald Shimoda said in the seventies, "Every problem has a gift for you in its hands; you seek the problems because you need the gift." Bonus points to who ever knows who Donald Shimoda is.:D


He is one of two main characters in the book Illusions written way back in '77 (that's 1977 for our younger crowd.) :)

Now, who knows who wrote this book, among others?

Wishing you the best!

Mick

sofmed
04-24-2008, 15:56
A man at his best. You are not so born. Strive daily to develop yourself in your person, in your calling, until perfection is attained: the fullness of your every gift, of your every faculty. You will know it in the improvement of your taste, in the clarification of your thinking, in the maturity of your judgment, in the control of your will. Some never attain the perfect, something always being lacking, and others are late in coming to themselves. The man complete, wise in speech, wise in action, is admitted, yea, he is welcomed into that rare fellowship of those who understand.

Baltasar Gracian
Originally published in 1647

Wishing you the best.

Mick

geordy7051
05-12-2008, 23:20
Leading by example is a big one. It's not just waving your Arms and saying follow me. It's also something as trivial as reaching down and picking up a piece of trash in your AO. Helping to unload gear with your men. Stepping up to the front to do a Demo. But not often enough to step on toes.
The results of being a successful trainer/leader. Are never obvious and immediate. Its all the little things in people you are training that you notice. Not flagging people when exiting the Arms Room, conversations are more about Tactics, dry firing during breaks, weapons slung across the chest at the ready, not over their back. This transformation is one of the most gratifying things to see.

The biggest lesson I ever learned when I became a NCO was when several SGTs some years senior to myself told me, 'Never say "Do this now or else," instead say "we need to get this done." Then help if you have the time and ability. If you don't have the time, they will most likely know. If you don't have the ability then learn the skill quick.' That has stayed with me and been the best advice I ever recieved.

tinmanHRSO
08-11-2008, 03:55
Even with their little ball caps.

lol, That one really got my chuckle box going sir. I really do enjoy reading your posts. And I've learned a great deal from them. I've learned a bit more about myself. I hate to admit I was one of those who wasn't always squared away when I was enlisted, it's taken alot of time to grow into the operator I am today. And still, the more I learn the more I realize how much I still don't know. Maturity is humbling I think, but there's great strength in humility.

hoot72
08-14-2008, 03:14
Just wanted to share this mindset. It speaks volumes of what to be, or not to be.

Enjoy.

Mick



IN THE TEST KITCHEN OF LIFE

A young woman was complaining to her father about how difficult her life had become. He said nothing, but took her to the kitchen and set three pans of water to boiling. To the first pan, he added carrots; to the second, eggs; and to the third, ground coffee. After all three had cooked, he put their contents into separate bowls and asked his daughter to cut into the eggs and carrots and smell the coffee. "What does this all mean?" she asked impatiently.

"Each food," he said, "teaches us something about facing adversity, as represented by the boiling water." The carrot went in hard but came out soft and weak. The eggs went in fragile but came out hardened. The coffee, however, changed the water to something better.

"Which will you be like as you face life?" he asked. Will you give up, become hard -- or transform adversity into triumph? As the "chef" of your own life, what will you bring to the table?



Hey boss,

was that from the IN THE TEST KITCHEN OF LIFE? And was it someone wrote or quote? Was wondering...

humble 11c
09-04-2008, 13:53
I googled "books have pages in multiples of 9."

Great read. You should use your skills to be a guest speaker at graduations and ceremonies and get paid for it. What you have to say certainly applies to many things and I took to heart alot of what you said.

Thanks.

jw74
09-09-2008, 11:34
Whenever my legs say they don't want to run. I reread this thread. Thank you NDD and All for the instruction/encouragement/warning.

barryr
09-18-2008, 12:09
This is a very motivational thread. I do some of the things NDD and the others posted, but there is more that I need to work on. This thread made me re-evaluate my self. It really makes you step back and check yourself. I needed this reminder. It is easy to forget when others around you do not have the same mind set. Thanks.

Barry

Kiran
12-30-2008, 13:24
To everybody that contributed to this thread, you have my most sincere thanks. I thank you for the time you took, all of you, to say everything you have. I only hope I am surrounded by people of your greatness, wherever I go in the Army. I re-read every post with wisdom and I intend to apply everything, one at a time and make it a part of myself so that I'll always keep up my desire to grow.
--Kiran

HOOT
02-19-2009, 06:12
I am currently an IRR recall serving in Iraq, been to Afghanistan once and got to see SF teams at play and have always and will always respect and honor the SF community for MANY reasons. But this training the mind post just sums it up for me. Thank you for helping this soldier put things back into perspective for my military and personal life.

einherjar
04-06-2009, 03:06
From the Enchridion Militis Christiani: A Guide for the Righteous Protector, by Erasmus 1503, extracted by Sergeant Chris Pascoe, Michigan State Police.

First Rule
INCREASE YOUR FAITH
Even if the world appears mad

Second Rule
ACT UPON YOUR FAITH
Even if you must undergo the loss of everything

Third Rule
ANALYZE YOUR FEARS
You will find that things are not as bad as they appear

Fourth Rule
MAKE VIRTUE THE ONLY GOAL OF YOUR LIFE
Dedicate all your enthusiasm, all your effort, your leisure as well as your business

Fifth Rule
TURN AWAY FROM MATERIAL THINGS
If you are greatly concerned with money you will be weak of spirit

Sixth Rule
TRAIN YOUR MIND TO DISTINGUISH GOOD AND EVIL
Let your rule of government be determined by the common good

Seventh Rule
NEVER LET ANY SETBACK STOP YOU ON YOUR QUEST
We are not perfect - this only means we should try harder

Eighth Rule
IF YOU HAVE FREQUENT TEMPTATIONS, DO NOT WORRY
Begin to worry when you do not have temptation, because that is a sure sign that you cannot distinguish good from evil

Ninth Rule
ALWAYS BE PREPARED FOR AN ATTACK
Careful generals set guards even in times of peace

Tenth Rule
SPIT, AS IT WERE, IN THE FACE OF DANGER
Keep a stirring quotation with you for encouragement

Eleventh Rule
THERE ARE TWO DANGERS: ONE IS GIVING UP, THE OTHER IS PRIDE
After you have performed some worthy task, give all the credit to someone else

Twelfth Rule
TURN YOUR WEAKNESS INTO VIRTUE
If you are inclined to be selfish, make a deliberate effort to be giving

Thirteenth Rule
TREAT EACH BATTLE AS THOUGH IT WERE YOUR LAST
And you will finish, in the end, victorious!

Fourteenth Rule
DO NOT ASSUME THAT DOING GOOD ALLOWS YOU TO KEEP A FEW VICES
The enemy you ignore the most is the one who conquers you

Fifteenth Rule
WEIGH YOUR ALTERNATIVES CAREFULLY
The wrong way will often seem easier than the right way

Sixteenth Rule
NEVER ADMIT DEFEAT EVEN IF YOU HAVE BEEN WOUNDED
The good soldier's painful wounds spur him to gather his strength

Seventeenth Rule
ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION
So when the time comes for battle, you will know what to do

Eighteenth Rule
CALM YOUR PASSIONS BY SEEING HOW LITTLE THERE IS TO GAIN
We often worry and scheme about trifling matters of no real importance

Nineteenth Rule
SPEAK WITH YOUR SELF THIS WAY:
If I do what I am considering, would I want my family to know about it?

Twentieth Rule
VIRTUE HAS ITS OWN REWARD
Once a person has it, they would not exchange it for anything

Twenty-First Rule
LIFE CAN BE SAD, DIFFICULT AND QUICK: MAKE IT COUNT FOR SOMETHING
Since we do not know when death will come, act honorably every day

Twenty-Second Rule
REPENT YOUR WRONGS
Those who do not admit their faults have the most to fear

Ghost02
08-05-2009, 21:26
As I look through this topic, I find it ever more difficult to follow the rules set forth from you special forces. I, of course, consider you all the best when it comes to mental discipline, as well as physical. I myself have a difficult time resisting temptations whether they are material, like food, or mental, like the will to resist advisors. Reading this tips make me realize that I have a long way to go in order to even light a candle up to you all. I do not have the discipline to say no to a bag of chips or to stop doing things that are bad for me, such as my addiction to the computer.

I have lost a lot of the drive I used to have, and almost zero desire. I need to step up to the difficulties and become a man, not an ignorant teenager or a subserviant -dare I say- bitch. These tips are giving me motivation that I lost, I need to read them every-day, just as I used to say the our father and the pledge of alligence. I need to step it up and get a move on, and that starts today. Today I will become more able to cope with everyday challenges and take life by the horns, and to do that with grace and dignity.

Thank all of you for your tips, as you have most definatly changed one boys attitudes.

Blitzzz (RIP)
08-06-2009, 08:25
Interesting post. A bit bleek. I suggest you've likely not been challenged much in you life. what may seem a challenge may not actually be. A bag of chips loses severity when placed against going another day in hot steamy jungle after a month of the same, or suffering painful knees and bracing one's self to exit the aircraft anyway. Knowing you've got to land.
You need to challenge yourself daily. Draw a mental line of what you want to be/do and then start saying "no" to those things that deter form that line and "yes" to those things that assist that venture.
You should start small and work toward more difficult challanges. Create the mind set to say no and not do. Starting small (like a bag of chips) and work up to getting up and doing favors for those whom you may not want to expend energy on. Eat marginally bad food and "don't" allow it to make you sick. Smile at diversity, laugh in the face of evil. Good luck Blitzzz.
NOTE: Though luck has very little to do with it.

Ghost02
08-06-2009, 11:16
I have started today. Starting small. Time to make some phone calls.

BMT (RIP)
09-06-2009, 08:50
Not long ago at Fort Bragg, N.C., the country's largest military base, seven soldiers sat in a semi-circle, lights dimmed, eyes closed, two fingertips lightly pressed beneath their belly buttons to activate their "core." Electronic music thumped as the soldiers tried to silence their thoughts, the key to Warrior Mind Training, a form of meditation slowly making inroads on military bases across the country. "This is mental push-ups," Sarah Ernst told the weekly class she leads for soldiers at Fort Bragg. "There's a certain burn. It's a workout."

Related
The Benefits of Meditation
More Related
1848: When America Came of Age

Think military and you think macho, not meditation, but that's about to change now that the Army intends to train its 1.1 million soldiers in the art of mental toughness. The Defense Department hopes that giving soldiers tools to fend off mental stress will toughen its troops at war and at home. It's the first time mental combat is being mandated on a large scale, but a few thousand soldiers who have participated in a voluntary program called Warrior Mind Training have already gotten a taste of how strengthening the mind is way different — dare we say harder? — than pounding out the push-ups.
(Read a story on the health benefits of meditation.)

Warrior Mind Training is the brainchild of Ernst and two friends, who were teaching meditation and mind-training in California. In 2005, a Marine attended a class in San Diego and suggested expanding onto military bases. Ernst and her colleagues researched the military mindset, consulting with veterans who had practiced meditation on the battlefield and back home. She also delved into the science behind mind training to analyze how meditation tactics could help treat — and maybe even help prevent — post-traumatic stress disorder.

Rooted in the ancient Samurai code of self-discipline, Warrior Mind Training draws on the image of the mythic Japanese fighter, an elite swordsman who honed his battle skills along with his mental precision. The premise? Razor-sharp attention plus razor-sharp marksmanship equals fearsome warrior.
(Read about the samurai film version of King Lear by Akira Kurosawa.)


The Samurai image was selected after careful deliberation; it was certifiably anti-sissy. "We took a long time to decide how we were going to package this," says Ernst, who moved to North Carolina in 2006 and teaches classes at Fort Bragg as well as Camp Lejeune, a Marine base near the coast. "There are a lot of ways you could describe the benefits of doing mind training and meditation. Maybe from a civilian approach we would emphasize cultivating happiness or peace. But that's not generally what a young soldier is interested in. They want to become the best warrior they can be."

The benefits of Warrior Mind Training, students have told instructors, are impressive: better aim on the shooting range, higher test scores, enhanced ability to handle combat stress and slip back into life at home. No comprehensive studies have been done, though a poll of 25 participants showed 70% said they felt better able to handle stressful situations and 65% had improved self-control.

The results were intriguing enough that Warrior Mind Training has been selected to participate in a University of Pittsburgh study on sleep disruption and fatigue in service members that will kick off early next year.

For now, success is measured anecdotally.

On patrol in Iraq two years ago, John Way would notice his mind straying. "Maybe I should be watching some guy over there and instead I'm thinking, 'I'm hungry. Where's my next Twinkie?'"

With privacy at a premium, he'd often retreat to a Port-A-Potty to practice the focusing skills he'd learned from Ernst at Fort Bragg. "To have a way to shut all this off is invaluable," says Way.

The importance of the mind-body connection is being acknowledged at the highest levels of the military. The West Point-based Army Center for Enhanced Performance (ACEP), which draws on performance psychology to teach soldiers how to build confidence, set goals and channel their energy, has expanded to nine army bases in the past three years since the Army's chief-of-staff praised the program.

"The Army has always believed if we just train 'em harder, the mental toughness will come," says Lorene Petta, a psychologist at Fort Bragg who works for ACEP. "A lot of times with this population, because they're so rough and tough, they tend to say, 'This is too touchy-feely for me. No thanks.' But we talk about the importance of being a good mental warrior too."

Free to members of the military and their relatives, Warrior Mind Training classes are offered at 11 U.S. military installations and veterans centers across the country; an online option opened up this spring. At Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in California, for example, Warrior Mind instructors prep elite Navy SEALS candidates for Hell Week, when potential newbies are vetted in a 5 ½-day sleepless trial of physical and mental endurance.

Beefing up the brain for combat is one aspect of the training; another is decompression. If one day you're dodging snipers in Iraq and the next you're strolling the aisles at Wal-Mart, Warrior Mind Training techniques can ease the transition.

"It's kind of like a reset button," says Erick Burgos, a military paramedic who takes classes at Coronado. "It's a time-out for you to take a break from the chaos in your life."

If the Army's new mental-toughness initiative, set to kick off in October, is to be successful, it needs buy-in from the people it plans to train. It can be a tough sell. At Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in N.C., Adam Credle, who teaches military, law enforcement and Coast Guard personnel how to drive boats equipped with machine guns really fast, has encouraged his students to try out the meditative techniques. So far, he's been rebuffed, though he continues to try to persuade them to give the discipline's central exercise a chance. The mental focusing technique is called deep listening and it sounds super-simple but — unless you're accustomed to meditation — it requires exquisite concentration.

To help develop this skill, Warrior Mind, relies upon music. The idea is to listen, really listen, to the wail of the guitar or the staccato tap of the drums instead of letting your mind wander. In athletics, this concept is called being in "the zone."

As with anything, practice makes perfect, which is reassuring for rookies — like me — who find it next to impossible to rein in their thoughts at first. During the course of one five-minute song, I thought repeatedly about whether I'd remembered to lock my car and turn my cell phone to vibrate. And, because I'm a reporter, I thought about what everyone else might be thinking about, which, if they were doing it right, should have been nothing at all.

Fletch
09-09-2009, 20:06
This thread is a goldmine of information. I have been printing out multiple posts to be able to dig in them and read them regularly. It never hurts to have them hanging around my room, too.

Also, to BMT, the meditation article you posted interested me, so I have added on 15 minutes of meditation to my normal nightly workout/stretching. So far, my thoughts are far from clear, but hopefully they will get there with practice. :lifter

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread,
Fletch

Richard
09-09-2009, 21:58
Mental pilates for the battlefield? Whatever happened to training soldiers to the idea of marching to the sound of the cannons? :(

Richard's $.02 :munchin

NousDefionsDoc
09-12-2009, 21:37
Brother, don't let the reporter turn you off with that rhetoric. It's nothing more than stilling the mind and focusing.

Thesis
09-20-2009, 03:44
From the Enchridion Militis Christiani: A Guide for the Righteous Protector, by Erasmus 1503, extracted by Sergeant Chris Pascoe, Michigan State Police.


Twelfth Rule
TURN YOUR WEAKNESS INTO VIRTUE
If you are inclined to be selfish, make a deliberate effort to be giving

This is one that I currently am working on. I keep failing it because I assume that my brother man is also selfish.

:mad:

GratefulCitizen
09-20-2009, 14:46
Twelfth Rule
TURN YOUR WEAKNESS INTO VIRTUE
If you are inclined to be selfish, make a deliberate effort to be giving

This is one that I currently am working on. I keep failing it because I assume that my brother man is also selfish.

:mad:

Your mind is on justice. There is nothing wrong with that.
Remember that the giving is about changing your thinking, not their behavior.


My grandparents routinely gave money and meals to people who were transient or down on their luck.
One of these incidents and my grandfather's attitude clarified the issue for me:

He was on his way to a VFW meeting (post 5241 in Cortez, Colorado) and was wearing his cap.
A man on a motorcycle came up to him and said he was a Vietnam vet down on his luck, trying to make it out to family in California.

My grandfather asked him if he had eaten recently. The man said no.
Grandpa gave him some money, sent him to a local buffet, and said he would be back shortly.

The VFW post decided to give a small amount of money to cover the man's travel expenses, no questions asked.

After hearing the story, I asked my grandfather: "What if he was just scamming you and the VFW?"

Grandpa looked confused.
After a moment, he answered: "If he scammed us, then that's his problem, not ours. We did the right thing."


You can't control what others do.
You can only control your own choices.

Novice Snowflake
09-27-2009, 13:36
Reviewing the thread on training the mind has really helped me to grow as a man. Thank you and will continue to re-read this thread for its good gems. :)

LongWire
09-28-2009, 05:43
Reviewing the thread on training the mind has really helped me to grow as a man. Thank you and will continue to re-read this thread for its good gems. :)

Maybe you should do just that and only that. We don't care what your post count is especially since you have only just now complied with the rules here.

Read More Post Less!!!!!!!

When were you planning on joining, or are you just going to continue to troll?

spherojon
01-22-2010, 12:41
With this mindset, I may not be the most popular person in the world, but at least I can sleep at night knowing I did the right thing at the right time.

Lan
12-22-2013, 15:11
Thank you NDD and other Quiet Professionals for this thread, I learned a lot.

angus mac
08-31-2014, 13:53
I would like to ask about how to control a persons thoughts about things that happened in the past. What I am trying to say is things that if and when it comes into your thoughts you start re-living it and having the same feelings that I had when it was going on. The feelings I have ain't good,I don't want to erase entirely from my memory,just the feelings that come with it.I hope I have explained myself well enough;with all the Green Beret's and Rangers etc.I am hoping someone gets the gist of what I am asking.

Team Sergeant
08-31-2014, 14:29
I would like to ask about how to control a persons thoughts about things that happened in the past. What I am trying to say is things that if and when it comes into your thoughts you start re-living it and having the same feelings that I had when it was going on. The feelings I have ain't good,I don't want to erase entirely from my memory,just the feelings that come with it.I hope I have explained myself well enough;with all the Green Beret's and Rangers etc.I am hoping someone gets the gist of what I am asking.

If you're having issues I'd suggest you see a professional.

angus mac
08-31-2014, 15:19
I cannot go to a pro. I will lose my job. My wife is very sick and we need the insurance. Besides I do not want,nor can I trust anyone,other people knowing about the experisnces I had to deal with. I do'nt discuss these things with anyone,not even myself,I just want to not feel,(or re-feel)how I felt at the times I am talking about. The thoughts I can deal with,the feelings are what rocks me. I am talking about all the way to my spirit. The thoughts would be ok,just not the feelings that always come too.

Toaster
08-31-2014, 21:50
Well as you're on the road alot, you could always stop at a Catholic Church (or any denomination) and talk with the Padre. Most Christian pastors keep their mouth shout about what people discuss with them. If it's in a town you are just driving through, you'll probably never see them again. Talking about things helps.

While you're driving listen to a motivational or inspirational CDs or something, Zig Ziglar for instance. I find it hard to have negative thoughts when I'm listening to someone that's very cheerful and energetic.

Garbage in, garbage out. You'll think about whatever input is going into your life. Be careful about what you let in.

I'm also not a professional, just applying the rule of "if you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting".

angus mac
08-31-2014, 22:20
Men thank you for responding to me and I will take the advice that Toaster gave. I am not physco,un-stable or crazy. I am not a threat to anyone,nor am I suicidal. I know perfectly well the difference from right and wrong. The mind tells the body what to do,always. The stuff I am talking about is like I am going through something all over again;with my eyes wide open I see things and feel it just like when it happened. I pray a lot,I am a believer.Thanks men.I'm out.

Toaster
09-01-2014, 18:26
I'm hoping that my recommendation of talking with a man of the cloth is the one that you are going to take.

The second is a supplementary measure, to give additional benefit after the first measure.

The second would likely not be enough on it's own. You'll probably learn something and have revelations about life and your thinking and will then need to express them in person, to make sure that you can clearly express it, and that they understand.

Find a Padre and talk. Many of them are trained in counseling. I am not a professional therapist/counselor.

akv
09-02-2014, 04:14
Angus Mac,

FWIW, on the recommendation of a number of friends who served, I read "What It is Like to Go to War" by Karl Marlantes.

He left Yale in 1969 to volunteer for service in Vietnam, where he won the Navy Cross as a USMC platoon leader. His candor, eloquence, humility, and philosophical observations on lessons learned both there and back, and the difference between sadness and regrets are hard to forget.

frostfire
06-25-2017, 01:08
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78I9dTB9vqM

Goggins the BAMF, who should have lived among the Spartans

JamesIkanov
07-25-2017, 05:06
I'm just going to throw out something that has personally helped me. I'm in no way BTDT, but everyone has to deal with a bit of stress now and again. One of the things I've found quite helpful is what some people might call a "Mantra". It's simply a short phrase that you mentally, or if you have to, verbally (I find murmuring under your breath works best), repeat to help you stay focused and motivated. The continuous repetition can, in many cases, help shift you to a more positive or focused state of mind. I've personally used this technique while pushing myself to do things that I didn't think I could do physically or that I thought would be more challenging than they were. It's not a magic bullet, but if it works for you it helps you keep going after you hit the wall physically or if you're just fucking tired, or whatever.

A few tips:
1. A short, concise phrase, or even a series of words works best. The longer it is the more energy you have to put towards dredging it up, the less you have left to stay focused.
2. It can and should be anything meaningful or impactful to you personally. The set of words is yours. If you create your own phrase, it will likely be more effective than a generic "inspirational" quote.
3. You should (in my experience, at least) avoid a negative mantra if at all possible. Black humor can work, but something genuinely negative (so and so will kick my ass if I don't finish) is something that personally hasn't worked for me. In fact, I've seen a bit of a performance drop associated with repetitive negative phrases.
4. It's just some words. They might help you push yourself a little harder on that last couple of pushups or the last few miles when it starts suddenly raining, or whatever, but it's not magic that will compensate for a mistake already made. It's just a tool to help you push through some shit.

Some examples:

"Calm, Cool, Collected." (primarily utilized to help keep sharp/focused under pressure)

"History has no more room for cowards." (feeling a bit nervous?)

"If you feel done then you're only 40% spent." (trying to push through that last little bit and feeling like shit. I didn't come up with it.)


It might be helpful, might be me being MOTO. I've never bothered to ask if anyone else does the same thing because frankly it's rather personal, but I have noticed it significantly help my mental fortitude.

oh, one of my favorites:

"There is always some small thing you can do to improve whatever shit you're in. Always."

It's the longest by far but it's probably the most useful for when some shit's really going sideways, IME. Locking up in the moment because shit looks hopeless is sometimes worse than quitting.

But all this shit is just my own philosophical take on it, and I'm hardly an expert. I'm just in the process of trying to cultivate a mindset and thought I'd share something that was helpful.

miclo18d
07-26-2017, 05:49
I'm just going to throw out something that has personally helped me. I'm in no way BTDT, but everyone has to deal with a bit of stress now and again. One of the things I've found quite helpful is what some people might call a "Mantra". It's simply a short phrase that you mentally, or if you have to, verbally (I find murmuring under your breath works best), repeat to help you stay focused and motivated. The continuous repetition can, in many cases, help shift you to a more positive or focused state of mind. I've personally used this technique while pushing myself to do things that I didn't think I could do physically or that I thought would be more challenging than they were. It's not a magic bullet, but if it works for you it helps you keep going after you hit the wall physically or if you're just fucking tired, or whatever.


I never knew it had a name but when I was a young soldier carrying ungodly amounts of weight on ungodly long road marches with my feet crying and my shoulders aching, I would tell myself that I would quit at the top of the next hill. At the top of the hill I would tell myself that I could let gravity take me down the hill. This usually went on until some would say that we had arrived at our destination. That and I always had an ear worm song that I would repeat in my head for many miles. The song usually sucked but had a good pace with the march. Juice Newton 'Queen of Hearts' was one such song, another was Eddie Rabbit 'Drivin My Life Away'

Eventually, your body gets so hardened that it just gets used to it. After Ranger school I could have marched around the world but my running had taken a hit. my train up for SFAS was a 6 mile ruck march before going on 2 weeks of leave. I was always in units that exceeded the standard physically, so no worries there. Mentally I told myself that if I failed I would end up as a squad leader in the 82d Windblown Diversion. The other motivator in SFAS was watching others quit, made the chow line shrink, which meant I could take my time eating while sitting at a table, not having to shovel it down my throat standing next to the trash can outside.

Motivation takes on many forms. The only one you NEED is I WILL NOT QUIT!!!!