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Old 7 June 2019, 12:54
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leopardprey leopardprey is offline
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Is SF training hard?

I get asked this many times by HS and College age students, as well as some in the National Guard contemplating going SF.

My response is, “No, SF selection and training is not hard”.

Is not harder or more challenging than many other MOSs, or many other endeavors in civilian life like being a teacher, firefighter, lawyer, Doctor, police officer, etc.

If it is not hard, then why do most not do, and close to 80% not make it through SFAS/SFQC?

Well first of all taking the challenge, volunteering to do so. Many talk about doing, but they do not do. They spend too much time trying to analyze the training, watching YouTube videos, etc. Just do it! Don’t think too much about it, take the challenge. That is the first step. Volunteer and Tryout! Do not procrastinate.

Next, failure to prepare. When I went through SFAS there were no books, Internet forums or YouTube discussing the course/training. We just knew it was going to suck and there was going to be an obstacle course, a lot of running and rucking. So just get out there and run, ruck 5-6x a week. Go for a swim every week, then ruck some more. Get the feet hard. Weights? No one cares how much you can bench press. Do many sets of pushups, chin ups, dips, flutter kicks, sit ups - 3x a week.

Now here are the three big reasons people fail once in the course:

1. They come up with excuses to quit. They start letting doubt into the head. They talk themselves into quitting and try to justify it. “Well, mAYbe if I am in SF it will be too much time away from my family”. You cannot let any doubt in. Failure is not an option. You cannot quit.

2. Failure to follow instructions, do as told. If you are told to be somewhere at a certain time with a certain amount of equipment or clothing, then do it! It is pretty simple. If you do as told, study what are told to study, show up on time for formation and classes, you will succeed.

3. Alcohol, partying, women. This gets many in the Q Course. Get involved in any of those three the wrong way or in excess. Instead of studying for an exam, you are out partying, drinking or chasing snatch or involved in drama with a crazy chick, you will not pass. Focus on what your job is. Study. Again, follow instructions.


Training is pretty straight forward. Is a step by step process. Take each event, each day, each study module, each field exercise just as one event. It will eventually end. Don’t stress, many others have graduated, so you can as well. If I could do it, anyone can as most are more superior to me genetically physically and mentally. I just refused to quit, followed instructions, focused on the task at hand, and took it one day at a time.
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Old 7 June 2019, 13:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
My response is, “No, SF selection and training is not hard”.

Is not harder or more challenging than many other MOSs, or many other endeavors in civilian life like being a teacher, firefighter, lawyer, Doctor, police officer, etc.
I disagree.

I don't want to descend into Bill-Clintonesqe "depends on what the meaning of the word hard is," (and, yes, I know we could have fun with that sentence, let's not derail this into that realm).

SF selection and training are hard. Serving as an SF soldier is a hard life. Much harder than my law enforcement work.

POVs are individual, clearly. My path to SF was hard. My 22 years of service in SF was hard. During my three separate stints as a SWC cadre, the training we conducted was hard.
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Old 7 June 2019, 13:19
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leopardprey leopardprey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavin View Post
I disagree.

I don't want to descend into Bill-Clintonesqe "depends on what the meaning of the word hard is," (and, yes, I know we could have fun with that sentence, let's not derail this into that realm).

SF selection and training are hard. Serving as an SF soldier is a hard life. Much harder than my law enforcement work.

POVs are individual, clearly. My path to SF was hard. My 22 years of service in SF was hard. During my three separate stints as a SWC cadre, the training we conducted was hard.
Not so much referring to the lifestyle, combat etc, of course. As agree with your comments. The point I am trying to make, as advice to young men wanting to go into the Army and go SF eventually, as that with any other professions it is a step by step process. Do not quit. Do not give up. If one wants to be something, barring some medical disqualification, whether it be SF or a Doctor, they can. Just is a longer road to achieve that goal, than to just get an hourly job at the Home Depot.

Yes, of course the blisters, the pain, the sweat, the lack of sleep etc is challenging. But if one wants it, they can do it. That is why many quit, it become “too hard” in their minds. The discomforts outweighs the rewards. “Pain, suffering and denial for a higher purpose”.

What does make SF training “hard” compared to other endeavors is the prolonged challenge and physical hardships in training, but it does eventually come to an end. The hardest part is just getting started, and not quitting.
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Last edited by leopardprey; 7 June 2019 at 13:28.
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Old 7 June 2019, 14:36
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The theme here is just get shit done.

Whatever you want to do is, usually, within reach, although it may take an absolutely incredible amount of effort to achieve. It takes someone who is convinced that they belong in SOF to be there and then to last.

Those who want it badly enough will do whatever it takes to get there. They may find themselves hampered at different stages (Dictionary example would be David Goggins. You can find him under BMF) but they will ultimately succeed. So will anyone asking themselves the question of whether they're prepared for SFAS/RASP/BUDS etc...

Nothing out there is "impossible". That's proven time and again when someone out there decides to upend conventional "wisdom". It was impossible for me to be in various places in my life until I arrived at them. Had I listened to others and not believed in myself they would have been right and I'd never be having this conversation with you.

One thing I've learned is that if I want something badly enough I always succeed. If I'm just interested in it, I might as well drop it and focus on something I can't live without knowing in and out.
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Old 7 June 2019, 15:33
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“Nothing is hard if you want it bad enough”- Hot Mess.

Yeah, it can suck really bad but if you want it, really want it, it won’t matter. It takes what I termed while getting ready for SFAS, “singularity of purpose”. If you want it bad enough that you could burn down the rest of your life to accomplish it then you have singularity of purpose and then it is not hard.
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Old 7 June 2019, 16:28
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HighDragLowSpeed HighDragLowSpeed is offline
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What does make it hard?

- The sustained suck: Some people think of it as hard like a gym workout. You get a good night sleep, you warm up, you work out to muscle failure when you are ready, go to class, you go home, eat right, and sleep again. It's anything but this. It's a full day of back to back different muscle failure and brain failure things every day for weeks. running a 6 minute mile is easy when rested....when do you run when you are exhausted and have been for days? I used to climb up and down ropes without using legs like a monkey. By the end of the course, I was struggling on my third rope...never happened to me before.

- The physical prowess and experience level of the instructors and peers: I thought that I could run like the wind, easily blew past the max scores on my PT tests, and could wi like a dolphin....and I was middle of the pack. I learned to walk all day with rucks that I could barely pick up. I had to learn the basics of raids and ambushes with peers that were experts in these things. "What does 'lift fire' mean, HDLS?" "Umm...firing over the enemies' heads?"

- Balancing the undisciplined with the underlying discipline: For the most part, zi served with some of the most undisciplined soldiers in the Army. This was really apparent when I trained with Marines. BDU cap tipped back, sleeves half rolled up, hands in pockets, longer hair and moustaches....the works. But there is an underlying discipline among these men - usually from the years of experience that they had that I didn't. I was a 22 years old kid. Learning that balance was an ongoing process.

- The distractions: As others have mentioned but still needs to be reinfornced. In retrospect, I don't know how I passed. we'd be out late when we were back from the field - strip clubs, booze, bars, lonely dependents, trailer park drama, barracks bunnies, it's all there for the taking...especially when one is the best shape of their life. All of it can end a prospective career.

- Your reputation: It's everything and starts on Day 1 of training. Don't be a fool. If I knew then what I know now (especially from this site), my career could have been far different.



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