"Be All That You Can Be"
- US Army recruiting slogan
Last night I fell asleep in front of the TV, and woke up to an indepth look/reality tv at Navy Seal basic training. Although its been done to death, I kept flipping back to the program as it unfolded, for it dealt with a single class going through the brutal BUDS training,
It made me wish that I had joined the military. Almost.
To see these guys, many of them veterans, push themselves to do things they didnt think possible, made me wish I had gone through such a program.
Heh. I have gone through such a program, although we call it life.
But that training, with its emphasis on both physical and mental conditioning, would have been an accelerated program to help live an effective life.
refused to even consider going into the military when the recruiters came sniffing around, lured in by my PSAT scores. I thought it was because I didnt want to bossed around for reasons I didnt necessarily agree with.
Twenty years on, I will admit now to being scared to go and do things I couldnt imagine.
I sometimes wonder if I didnt miss out on LEARNING to be all that I could be.
The tenet of military basic training is to break down people and re-assemble them so that they react properly when put into combat. You end up doing things you never thought you could do.The Navy Seal BUD's training (as well as training for special forces the world over) takes that to another level, where you step up your mental and physical abilities to the point where the extraordinary is ordinary.
"The first lesson I learned as a plebe came from an upperclassman yelling in my face.
He told me that there were four acceptable answers:
'Yes, sir'; 'No, sir'; 'No excuse, sir'; and 'Sir, I do not understand.'
He'd ask, 'Why aren't your shoes shined?' and I'd say, 'Well, it was muddy, and I didn't have time.' He'd be all over me. He was trying to teach me something:
If you have to take men up a hill and write letters to their moms that night, there's literally no excuse.
If you have to lay off thousands of people from your company, there's no excuse.
You should have seen it coming and done something about it."
--James Kimsey, West Point class of '62, founding CEO, America Online
I shouldve seen it coming and done something about it.
I was warned about that person multiple times by multiple people. And although I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, that shouldve been my heads up to treat her like a drunken suspect.
In the Seals training, that lesson is reinforced.
One team arrives for training, to find out that theyre late because the schedule had been changed. On purpose.
Off they go for PT in 60 degree surf.
They all fail room inspection for things like sand in their gear.
Off they go for pushups in the courtyard, sprayed by cold water.
No excuses. Pay attention. Prepare.
It sounds heartless, but it does get them into the mindset of being prepared mentally as well as physically when going into harms way, where a moments inattention can get them, or worse, their teammates killed.
No excuses. Hm.
(Adding and rewriting as I think this through...)