A Road Map To Special Forces Selection

For the longest time I put special forces operators on a pedestal so high I didn’t even consider it in the realms of possibility. Mentally I had built “them” out to be these meta-humans that could hold their ground in a fist fight with Thor. For those of you out there that can relate I am going to talk about a few small stepping stones that eventually put me on the path of achieving what once was in my mind an insurmountable feat.

The Decision

The decision is not something to take lightly. I had to do a deep self-analysis of the reasons why I wanted to do selection. The want must be so relentless that it will drive you out of any hole you fall in, the road ahead is full of holes. This self-analysis also included all things that could trip me up on my journey. With some mitigation and squashing of ANT’s (Automatic Negative Thoughts) the decision was made. I wasn’t just going to try out for Selection, in my mind I was going to destroy it. I want to be very clear that having self-belief and being optimistic is different than being delusional. Again, I am going to destroy it.

The Steps

I had “What” I was going to do. Now I just needed to figure out the “How.” The following is a basic list of processes that I worked through noting people’s experiences may be a lot more or less to get you on a specific selection course. Some people’s roads are harder than others.

  •  Eligibility
  •  Med clearance
  •  Basic fitness testing
  •  Psych testing
  •  Cognitive testing
  •  Pre-selection packages
  •  Physical training
  •  Rehearsal of equipment training
  •  Mental training

Each topic could be an article in itself but over a period of 4 months I developed a systematic approach where I managed to tick all the boxes. It can be frustrating at times hitting hurdles for example being told “No” by a doctor due to previous injuries and having the resilience to fight for your dream, get a specialist opinion and get cleared to move onto the next step. No one said it would be easy. By focusing on one step at a time but keeping the big picture in mind helped set me
up for success. Silence the critique. Let your training talk.

Enjoy the Process

Selection was one of the most physically and mentally testing periods of my life, but it was also one of the most enjoyable. Having the knowledge and confidence in my preparedness gave me the strength to power through when I hit the wall. The pain of discipline over the training period was a far better alternative than the pain of regret. The suffering is guaranteed but the reward is indescribable. Trust me, you will learn more about yourself if you decide to step down this path than
you could in a lifetime of wondering. Enjoy the Process.

Operator A


  • J

    Cool read. I’m trying to make it to selection, but just experienced another setback. I will attend selection, and I will crush it.

  • Craig

    Great article! I’m still stuck at the decision phase. I go back and forth multiple times a day from “I’m going to crush it!” to “I’m happy where I am.” What were some of the factors that influenced your decision?

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