I started watching the show “Gold Rush,” from the Discovery Network, about the guys who go into Alaska to mine for gold. Aside from making me want to go stake a claim and start mining myself, it reminded me of a very important aspect that any member of a military combat unit could be able to relate with, especially a member of SOF.

The purpose of the difficult training pipelines members of SOF go through is to separate the weak from the strong, wheat from the chaff. It’s a filtering process. Ever wonder why it seems like the cadre want people to quit? Because they do want people to quit. Once they eliminate the people who don’t really want to be there, they’re left with the final few.

But the process of filtering is not complete. At this point the more difficult and troubling task begins. For some, this is the most painful part of training. For me, it was only a real concern once during the Special Forces Qualification Course, but the Fear definitely created a home in my head.

“Don’t be that guy.” This is simultaneously a bit of advice and a strong warning. It’s a phrase that is definitely common in the military (probably somewhat common in certain civilian circles) and could be used to sum up a maxim necessary to being accepted into the upper echelon units: if you are consistently the source of grief, you don’t belong.

There is one guy in the first season of the gold mining show, Jim Dorsey, who appears to be is the embodiment of “that guy.” Sure enough, as if it was written in a script (which it certainly could have been), Mr. Dorsey and the boss get into a major clash and he eventually “takes his ball and goes home.”

Now, I understand that it is television and likely edited for drama, but I can spot “that guy” relatively quickly in a group setting. It doesn’t take long if you’re attuned to the signals and behaviors. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that it is an adaptation for a team guy to be able to identify “that guy” quickly so he can know how to not behave. Sometimes great teachers are only great because they teach you how not to act.

It’s not that he makes mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes.

It’s not that he lacks situational awareness sometimes. He lacks it at all the times when it matters most.