We’ve talked about the whole “Grey Man” thing in the past and in certain situations yes you should endeavor to blend into your surroundings and become the grey man, but as far as Selection, I’m sticking by my earlier observations and say that it isn’t a smart thing to do.

I’ve gotten questions and emails about being the grey man and to me, trying to do so unless you’re a trained professional will have the opposite effect. So my advice is simple… Don’t.

I know this goes contrary to what some cadre members of Selection courses tell candidates and we’ll get to my feelings on that below. But first you say, when is it a good time to be a “grey man?”

One is if you are either in SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) training or in a live situation. Then the last thing you want to stand out in any way. Standing out then usually rates a beating…or worse. Being the biggest or the most senior guy in the SERE Class is not a good way for being the grey man. The SRO (Senior Ranking Officer) is always singled out for real or perceived rules infractions….you get the idea. Once you get thru the Selection process and into the training pipeline, you’ll get to experience SERE up close and personal and all of your questions will be answered.

The second example of when it is a good time to be a “grey man?” Is if you’re doing some kind undercover intelligence work. Then you want to blend into your surroundings and if someone saw you walking down a busy street in an urban environment, you wouldn’t raise an alarm and even surveillance operatives watching for this type of operation wouldn’t be put on alert. That has a lot to do with demeanor, dress, mannerisms, and movement. Special Forces has a training program that teaches all of this and much more. But the course and the acronym associated with it will come after your training is complete and you move on to do great things in the operational units.

So back to the situation at hand, why not the “grey man” in Selection? And again this goes against what everybody who has passed Selection puts out on every blog, message board, and social media. I see it all the time, “Be the grey man” or something remotely similar.

Well as a former Selection cadre member I’ll tell you…in the simplest of terms why you shouldn’t do that. First and foremost, it will put a great big, fucking bulls-eye on your back.

As I mentioned before, most people don’t know how or aren’t trained properly in being a grey man. And if you … and most of you will do exactly this, look like you’re trying to blend in the background? Then to a cadre member, it looks like you’re trying to “ghost” thru events as we called it then. And if a guy is going to ghost in Selection, then he certainly will on a team.