The first few fearful days at Selection are nerve-racking but eventually subside. The first few days at selection are disorienting and scary because you have no idea what’s coming and how you can prepare. You’ll become a number over night. You’ll be addressed as candidate followed by whatever number you get. God help you if you get to number one. To my knowledge number one has never made it and been selected.

There will be no sense of control over your schedule, how you’re treated, what you wear (you’ll be instructed to wear what they tell you). The only thing you can do is perform and whatever is asked of you. But, that’s not always enough for most. Many lay on their cots and try to figure out how they can pass this thing they call selection. But, the truth is the best thing you can do when you’re laying on the cot is relax.

Stop worrying about what could be and just live in the moment when you need to. No one is going to jump out at you like a horror movie and beat you. Whatever outlandish rumors you’ve heard aren’t true. It’s still an army leadership training course. Be a student and pass above the Army standard 70%. You do not have to be a marathoning bodybuilder to make it in SOF. To get in, you just have to finish selection and get selected.

My advice, something I wish I had done – take a book and – read it.  You’ve got the choice between a Bible, the Ranger handbook or a novel. There will be plenty of Ranger handbook’s floating around, and you don’t need it to get selected. Take a great novel. Find an escape; there’s a lot of down time between training events. For that reason, something that takes you to another time or place but is motivating might work. For example, a game of thrones of other adventurous fantasies might get your mind off of selection but still into a motivated state of mind.

Although, at first selection is awful and you’re unsure what is happening to you. You eventually get used to it and selection is where you are – and not a prisoner. You’ll even know a little bit about the cadre and their personalities. It will become less mystifying and more predictable and follow the course of events you’ve heard of and read about.

Featured image courtesy of DoD

This article was originally published on and written by Norwood