The Air Force Special Operator Mindset – AF Special Warfare

The Air Force Special Operator Mindset

“If you’re going to do something, do it right.”  It’s a cliche` saying, but it’s one that has extra importance when applied to special operators.  Battlefield Airmen tasks are not just completed right- they are completed exceeding the standard.  The term “good enough” is rarely, if ever used in the special tactics community- or else we wouldn’t be special.  Because special tactics airmen are a high demand, low density asset, they are used for high risk, specialized tasks that require the most talented individuals the Air Force has to offer.  If you want to be one, you need to act like one beforehand.

When training for special tactics selection courses, the same mentality holds true.  If you aren’t striving to flourish and improve at every opportunity, you aren’t dedicating the effort required to be successful.  This applies to all parts of the day.  Time management, prioritization and work effort are all keys to how you plan your training for selection.

Battlefield Airmen selection courses are not simply physical fitness courses designed to weed out the weak.  They are that to some degree, but the reality is these selection courses are also designed to find those that are truly dedicated to being a professional.  The time and effort you put on yourself to prepare for such courses will be evident to instructors.  Those that excel and continually improve on their training will excel.  Those that say “Good Enough” will struggle.

For a specific example, look no further than the Battlefield Airmen PAST test (check out the forums for the latest version).  When crosstrainees or officers are looking to selected at Phase 2 courses, minimum PAST scores won’t get the job done.  Instructors will rarely select candidates with weak but passing PAST numbers.  It shouts out to everyone: “I’m content with the minimums!”

Being exceptional is difficult.  It requires extra effort, increased diligence and consistent perseverance.  It is defined by how much you want this.  If you want something bad enough, you will put in the effort to be exceptional.  Your natural good looks and wonderboy talent won’t help you here.  You must put in the blood, sweat and tears to be successful at selection.  This mindset will be the foundation to your successful operational career.  Hooyah.


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