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.