A Profile Into The Mental Toughness of Special Forces Troops - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15159163
I found a talk on YouTube in regards to Navy SEAL Marcus Lutrell who was a "Lone Survivor" in a firefight in Afghanistan. They made a movie on the firefight and his ordeal in Afghanistan. However, what struck me about the talks given by Navy SEAL Marcus Lutrell was the extraordinary mental toughness he has and other Navy SEALs have. This mental toughness is not unique to US Navy SEALs but to most special forces troops around the world. Listening to his talks you get an idea of just how extraordinarily mentally tough special forces troops really are.

According to Marcus Lutrell, when starting to Navy SEAL selection, out of his class of 164 men, only 10 men made it to become Navy SEALs. His brother also became a Navy SEAL and out of 265 guys in his brother's class, only 16 men made it. Both he and his brother spent all their teenage years training and preparing to become Navy SEALs before they went through the offical Navy SEAL selection process. One of the remarks that Marcus Lutrell made is that you have to literally kill a Navy SEAL before he will stop.

He said he told one of his instructures that "you will have to kill me to cause me to wash out of Navy SEAL selection" and the Navy SEAL instructor smiled and said "OK, we can do that!" He said he regretted telling his instructor that as they made his life absolutely miserable during the selection process, but he made it! The instructors once remarked "If we let them stay out there till they die, they will literary die. We won't let that happen, but those few who are left, if we let them stay out there, they won't stop till they are dead." That's mental toughness. Here are some videos from the talks that Navy SEAL Marcus Lutrell gave which illustrates the mental toughness of Navy SEALs as well as other special forces troops around the globe.



Part 2:



What I found interesting, is that even this extraordinary high level of mental toughness, even Navy SEALs can suffer from PTSD and be in need of a service dog. Here is a news report where a court convicted somebody of animal creulty for killing Marcus Lutrell's service dog which assists him in dealing with PTSD:

https://wacotrib.com/news/local/animal- ... ecedb.html

Here is a video of a talk given by Marcus Lutrell on motivation:

#15159200
Mental toughness is a topic that has fascinated me. I found this article that describes mental toughness not as a characteristic you are born with, but instead, a skill you have developed over time. This article I found on the web states: "Mental toughness is a developed skill that allows athletes to push through difficult circumstances without losing confidence and the ability to play at peak levels during crunch-time." The article goes on to state that faulty assumptions on mental toughness are

"1. Mentally tough athletes perform successfully in the clutch every time.
2. Since I fall apart under pressure, I will fall apart under pressure every time.
3.Mental toughness is an inborn characteristic.
4. Either an athlete is mentally tough or they are not."

It goes on to state: "The reality is 'Mental Toughness' is not something you have; it’s something you do. Mental toughness is a skill and skills can be developed. Mental toughness is learned, just like its opposite, fear." The article goes on by saying that

"The next question asked by athletes is: 'How can I develop mental toughness?'First of all, mental toughness is not an all-or-nothing proposition ('I’m mentally tough or I’m not mentally tough'). There are varying degrees of mental toughness.So when you are developing your mental toughness, you need to realize that the process does not happen overnight, but well worth the investment.

Think of physical strength… Physical strength or building muscle requires resistance or weight training. Mental muscle is developed the exact same way by overcoming resistance, obstacles or challenges.By developing a mental training regimen, taking daily action and having patience, you will be on your way to becoming a mentally tougher athlete."

I agree with the article.

https://www.peaksports.com/sports-psych ... -learn-it/
#15159338
Oxymoron wrote:Special forces suicide rates are not very high.

Relative to what?
https://soaa.org/study-sof-suicides-military/
A study commissioned by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and conducted by the American Association of Suicidology revealed that suicide rates among US Special Operations Forces (SOF) are the highest in the military (about 30% higher than the US military) and are higher than that of the general US population.

Based on USSOCOM records, there were 117 suicides among SOF between 2007 and 2015.


But in regards to the thread, yeah, a lot of the physical training seems to be as much of a mental test as it is physical.
#15159339
Everything I've read says they commit suicide at almost twice the rate of the rest of the armed services. There are fewer people in special forces, but per capita rates are quite high. It makes sense because they have a lot more traumatic experience and often come home with a wide range of disabilities. They are also deployed for far longer which puts a strain on family relationships (from missing childhood milestones to Jody).
#15159356
21 minutes of the second video. He says he got shot off a hill in the back, on his lone trek, and then he looks up and some unarmed guy is laughing at him. He is lying. He also flashes a liar face right after he says it.

He's probably telling the truth in parts of it. And I watched all of the 2 videos to get to the 21 minute mark of the second video. I am not calling him a liar at all, I think this shit here is legit, just that this is a speech, so in some sense it is an act, and as an act goes hopefully he'd smooth out that bit, if he were asking me for advice.

Afghanistan seems like it was hell. But in the karmic balance of the universe, the American defeat in Afghanistan was just.

Isn't it funny how America hasn't actually won a major war since being Johnny Come Lately in the two World Wars, yet still are the hegemon?

That is irony.

I have friends who fought in Afghanistan. I considered joining the marines, along with some of my friends, and I would have gone at it tough, as a hard fighting desperato, waiting for a train.

The soldiers have valor, they are hard fighting men, but at the end of the day, 4 guys from Texas or wherever climbing mountains steeper than they're used to, and trying to single handedly battle villages of people who are used to the terrain and have AK 47s, seems like a bad idea. But, they were brave dudes. Just placed in the wrong place.

#15159360
Red_Army wrote:That toughness seems to wane when they go home and commit suicide.

Thank you for your service in the drug war.

Mental toughness is very overrated.

Trying to be mentally tough, it leaves you broken.

The higher you climb, the further you fall.

I have tried to be mentally tough. I once passed the Japanese university entrance exams, as a foreigner, that took a little mental toughness.

I don't want to be mentally tough anymore. I think that mental tough constructions amount to buildings made of glass.
#15159361
Experiencing the worst of the worst puts the rest of your life on easy mode, if the former doesn't break you. So it can be a highly beneficial thing, to experience some severe adversity for short periods of time.

There are people that would not survive a second outside of their cozy little urban existence, they go from 'career' to 'career' as if they were jumping from life-raft to life-raft. Fall in and swim a little. It makes the raft life extra cozy.
#15159362
Igor Antunov wrote:Experiencing the worst of the worst puts the rest of your life on easy mode, if the former doesn't break you. So it can be a highly beneficial thing, to experience some severe adversity for short periods of time.

There are people that would not survive a second outside of their cozy little urban existence, they go from 'career' to 'career' as if they were jumping from life-raft to life-raft. Fall in and swim a little. It makes the raft life extra cozy.

The first paragraph is complete bullshit. The second one is not related to the first one, but is an okay social critique.

The first though is wholly inaccurate. Going through fucked up shit doesn't set you up to tackle challenges going forward, it just fucks you up. Sure, we can overcome, and we all go through fucked up shit, and this isn't a contest or nothing, but it isn't the case that going through fucked up shit builds character.
#15159367
I think humans have a capacity for great intensity but only in short bursts. Try and sustain high intensity and you’ll break. Some people have a higher intensity because of training but its not meant to be ongoing but enough to get out of danger and rest. Pushing to the limit always is a fast path to death.
#15159371
Red_Army wrote:The drug war gets pretty hairy. I was mostly in the reserves though.

I heard it. I wasn't fit to be a drug dealer, because I smoked my own stash, and didn't have that many good friends (I did have old friends that went to war and stuff, but not like a shit ton of friends). Any who, thank's for your service. We couldn't get so stoned without you.
#15159374
I spent 20 years in the Army. I know a lot of special operators. It seems like everybody wants to talk about the tough training. The thing is that much of Army training is very very hard. Infantry, Rangers, Pathfinders, Air Assault, Airborne, MI....on and on. Tough is relative. It, like bravery, is situational. We tend to look at hard training and believe that this alone makes super-soldiers. It is only one piece of the puzzle. The physical aspects of the training make you an athlete. The mental aspects of the training give test your motivation and build pride. The job-specific training make you capable and lethal if necessary. If you look at Army Special Forces there is language training in the mix as well by the way.

I agree with Igor on this. After training, it is the situations into which special operators are placed that make them either behave to standard or not. They have a big tool set but at the end of the day they are not supermen.

I agree with Igor that early adversity can make someone mentally tough. It also lowers the bar for future happiness. That said.

The suicide rate for Special Operators is very high. Noting in their training can make them immune from PTSD. Indeed it is a fine line WRT training. If the training is so tough that it causes PTSD on its own the risk reward quickly begins to look unacceptable.
#15159383
Drlee wrote:I spent 20 years in the Army. I know a lot of special operators. It seems like everybody wants to talk about the tough training. The thing is that much of Army training is very very hard. Infantry, Rangers, Pathfinders, Air Assault, Airborne, MI....on and on. Tough is relative. It, like bravery, is situational. We tend to look at hard training and believe that this alone makes super-soldiers. It is only one piece of the puzzle. The physical aspects of the training make you an athlete. The mental aspects of the training give test your motivation and build pride. The job-specific training make you capable and lethal if necessary. If you look at Army Special Forces there is language training in the mix as well by the way.

I agree with Igor on this. After training, it is the situations into which special operators are placed that make them either behave to standard or not. They have a big tool set but at the end of the day they are not supermen.

I agree with Igor that early adversity can make someone mentally tough. It also lowers the bar for future happiness. That said.

The suicide rate for Special Operators is very high. Noting in their training can make them immune from PTSD. Indeed it is a fine line WRT training. If the training is so tough that it causes PTSD on its own the risk reward quickly begins to look unacceptable.

You agree with Igor. You mean you think the trials and tribulations of military life, in particular in wartime, builds character? That's what he was saying. I disagree.

I'm still thinking of signing up. I'm 36. I spent time with an airforce recruiter recently. I was thinking of going in to signal intelligence. I was told it would be pretty hard with all of my time spent in China. I have done government work. I had a 4 hour DoD background check interview of late. Yeah, it would be hard, and wouldn't probably pan out (because that's how they role).

You agree with Igor? I disagree with him. I don't think tribulations build character, I think they fuck you up.
#15159389
@Crantag

Go ahead and get some treatment. Nobody is exempt from mental wounds and there is no shame for seeking and getting the treatment you need. Plus, work on your mind. Read some books written by Navy SEALs or other authors on mental toughness. If Marcus Luttrel can hang tough despite everything he has been through, you can do it too.

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