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Old 03-16-2006, 19:03   #61
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Both are from John Wooden.
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Old 05-13-2006, 23:01   #62
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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."
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Old 05-14-2006, 07:26   #63
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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.

Last edited by x SF med; 05-15-2006 at 08:23.
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Old 05-22-2006, 00:40   #64
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Last edited by msgec; 02-13-2009 at 23:17.
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:21   #65
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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.


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Old 05-22-2006, 11:43   #66
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Last edited by msgec; 02-13-2009 at 23:17.
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Old 07-11-2006, 13:04   #67
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Originally Posted by Eagle5US
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.”

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Old 07-19-2006, 06:14   #68
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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.
Hang Tough

Last edited by POO; 07-19-2006 at 07:46.
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Old 12-26-2006, 13:14   #69
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Good article to help with FRAME OF REFERENCE:


12 miles isn't long...depending on your frame of reference...
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Old 02-04-2007, 20:36   #70
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Originally Posted by msgec
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.

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.

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

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.

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Old 02-05-2007, 09:47   #71
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Thumbs up Excellent!

One of the Best Threads I've ever read..Thanks NDD
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:55   #72
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This is a great weapon in the student's kit. Thanks for the mentorship from NDD, WM and all the other contributers.

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Old 03-17-2007, 10:57   #73
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Thanks for this thread.
My wife's cooking was so bad we prayed after the meal.
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Old 05-10-2007, 16:15   #74
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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.
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Old 05-10-2007, 17:24   #75
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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.
Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is;' he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn't go home at 17:00, he is home.
He knows only The Cause.

Still want to quit?
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