Step 5 – Ask questions, show respect
From now until the time your selection starts you have an opportunity to seek out guys who have been there and benefit from their knowledge and experience. Don’t be an idiot and ask them what it’s like to kill someone. When you are exposed to a former member of SOF, in person or online, be respectful and understand that it is a very small community. Your reputation starts the day you start popping off at the mouth about how you are going to be a SEAL, Ranger, PJ, MARSOC Ninja, etc. The community is not only tiny, the alumni are very well connected with each other.
Step 6 – Be prepared to fail
It doesn’t matter how amazing you think you are, you will fail at some point. That is the point. If the cadre notices that you are really good at push up you will do them until you can’t do them anymore, regardless if you can do 40 or 100. Their job is to make you fail. The point is to see how you handle that failure. How you respond to that adversity is really what they are looking for. Can you get up and lead men when you have been knocked down countless times? Can you brush off those failures and continue to lead the way? That is what is important, not your six pack.
Step 7 – Never, ever ever ever EVER give up
Seriously. Don’t. The guy next to you is hurting just as bad. His life sucks right now but he isn’t giving up and if he does, guess what? You should be elevated by your strength, not discouraged by his weakness. People laugh when they ask about how to pass and I say, “Don’t quit.” A lot of it comes down to that. You are going to get kicked, you are going to be tired, cold, and hungry. You are going to feel alone and exhausted. You will be humiliated and broken. Don’t quit. Your body will follow your mind. Set the intention before you start that you would rather die than quit. That is the only type of person that belongs in the special operations community.
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Leo Jenkins is a homeless combat vet. After 230 credits he hasn’t finished college yet. From firefighter EMT to the life a Ranger leads. He’s been a medic in Afghanistan as well as Iraq and hasn’t met a pint of beer he won’t attack. A fighter and runner… a swimmer and a lover. A competitive exerciser and free will admirer. His pen is dipped in the ink of allegory and he won’t hesitate to tell his story. Five continents and 31 countries this year alone, he lives his life like a rolling stone.