I’ve heard it all: Type A personality, Don’t fit in anywhere else, Action Seeker, Adrenalin Junkie, Free Spirit..etc. and so forth. While those labels may be accurate to a certain degree I think they are merely surface dressing. I believe there is something deeper, more visceral to those that have accepted the challenge. What type of person wakes up in the morning and says “I think I’ll go the next 72 hours with no food, little water, minutes of sleep and moments of sheer exhaustion”? It takes more than just to wanting to do it.
Wanting to look cool and dangerous will maybe get you through the first week of training…maybe. What about week thirty-eight after injuries have beset you, your stomach has shrunk two sizes and you have blisters as big as your heel? Those who have been through the crucible of Army Special Forces or Navy SEAL training or any of the various other top tier schools know what I’m talking about. It’s not just a little discomfort, but the total lack of comfort.
It’s not just the training we receive. With enough time and repetitions most anybody can be taught to shoot a 3″ square or fall out of a plane and even how to place a breaching charge. Class after class and hundreds of hours training can turn you into a decent negotiator able to bring separate tribes together in near harmony…well…a decent facsimile of harmony at least.
There is that “something” that lies deep inside of each operator. That “It” which has never fully been quantified. Instructors try to pick out those who will finish the training they start…and they fail. Many a beer bet has been lost and science has been stupefied trying to put together a string of attributes that they can point to and say “This candidate has what it takes…” There is a drive, a determination and a commitment to take that next step that 99% just flat out DO NOT have. It’s not an indictment against them it’s just the bald ugly truth. Unlike the lie we used to tell ourselves and our kids, not everybody can be what they want to be. Thousands of washouts, performance recycles and failures (something to be addressed in a future article) attest to that fact.
In the end it isn’t what we teach, it’s what you bring inside you. Your heart. That fire. That don’t mess me with spirit. The relentless pursuit of perfection. The ability to stand on your own but also to be a vital team member. Attributes that can’t be taught. They come with you and get polished and strengthened through training and team mates.
Why do we do what we do? We do it because others are not able or willing to. We do it because we love those we have to leave behind in order to defend those we don’t know. We do it because we can.
p.s. …and the gear is COOL!!!
Products and equipment are only one third of the solution to survival. Training and Awareness complete the triad to help you keep safe. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for information on products, or training at firstname.lastname@example.org.
to us, and those like us — damn few Into The Breach