An Army Field Guide to Manliness

USAREC Pam 601-25 is an Army document read by solders preparing for the arduous 21 say Special Forces Selection process. Although the pamplet is only theoretically interesting to us non-solders, one section has general applicability to a man’s life.

Section 2-2, “Most common mistakes in the SFAS Course,” reads almost like a, “How to Not Be a Pussy/Loser” article.

The advice has a similar theme: Always give your best effort and never give up. Unless you are hopeless, you will generally succeed if you avoid these pitfalls.

2-2. Most common mistakes in the SFAS Course

d. Showing uncontrollable fear in the water during the 50-meter swim assessment.
e. Listening and/or participating in the dissemination of inaccurate information of what to expect during SFAS. [Unless someone has verifiable credentials or objective manifestations of success, he is a loser. So why listen to him?]
g. Showing inconsistency during rucksack marches and runs.
h. Giving up on the obstacle course.
i. Not being able to do at least six pull-ups from a dead hang. This may show a lack of upper body strength.
j. Giving up on yourself. Don’t quit, let the assessors assess you. [How often do guys not approach a girl, thinking she’ll reject him?]
k. Negative thoughts. Don’t doubt yourself, believe in yourself, don’t evaluate yourself out of the SFAS Course.
l. Not taking proper care of your feet.
m. Falling asleep when you are not supposed to.
o. Not giving 100 percent. The assessors are trained to identify soldiers that are not pulling their weight.
p. Whining and complaining; nobody likes it and it doesn’t help.
q. Arguing with the cadre. It will not be tolerated and you will be terminated.
r. Failure to follow instructions. Pay attention to detail.
s. Losing your temper. Maintaining your bearing is essential to success.
t. Not being flexible. Anything and everything may go wrong, deal with it.
u. Using shortcuts or cheating. Don’t compromise your integrity, you will be dropped from the SFAS Course for integrity violations.
v. Always the first one to sit or lay down on a break.
w. Always the last one to get up when the break is over.

  • No place like Helmand

    On some of the points:

    H. Nasty Nick isn’t that bad. Some of the obstacles will trigger a fear of heights if it already exist. I know dozens of Special Forces Soldiers with a fear of heights who were able to suppress absolute terror and accomplish what they were told to do. All of them still jump out of airplanes regularly to remain on jump status.

    J. If at any point you were assessed as having given up you were dropped or not selected to continue Special Forces Training. An amazing job by the Cadre of observation and evaluation.

    T. My favorite. You never know what you are doing next. You only know the event you are currently be evaluated on and the you don’t even know the evaluation criteria some of the time. You either give your best or fail. You either live in the Moment or fail.

    For someone who has the opportunity, definitely a crash course in masculinity. The most important thing I was told before going: ” What one man can do, Another can do as well”.

  • odds

    One of the easiest way to identity weak men: when they say they are anti-war or anti-military. In the words of George Patton:

    “Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.”

    “Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.”

    What America really needs is a massive land war right at home. We haven’t had one since the Civil War and look how weak, disgusting, and anti-patriotic our populace has become.

  • carioca

    The wish to be a hero is essentially beta.
    Sacrifice is beta.
    Sense of duty is beta.
    Obedience and constant submission are beta.

    I´m in the military (not USA). After unplugging, I concluded that the military organization is good for my personality by one side (basically it improves my physical and character strength), but it´s too bad for other. Nothing tames more the bad-boy than being in the military. There is no place for rule breakers. Military man are idolaters of rules. Obedience, “yes sir, no sir”, all this shit lowers my testosterone.

  • nycbachelor

    You’re missing the point. The article isn’t glorying military service; it is pointing the characteristics of manliness and how it’s recognized in the military.

    You’re also wrong on another point. Being an obedient rule obeyer may seem like its beta- after all, another male is dominant over you and you’re jumping to his orders. However, it in the case of the military its a gina tingle; nothing makes the gina like a victorious killer, and in the job of the military (espically the special forces) is to be a victorious killer.

    • carioca

      There are pros and cons. I just put some light on the cons.

  • amused

    “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” -Henry Kissinger, alpha male par excellence (judging from the quantity and quality of tail he pulled), as quoted in Woodward and Bernstein’s ‘The Final Days’.

    • samseau

      Seriously. Placing loyalty to your country before yourself is just retarded.

      All of our founding fathers said that every man has his basic individual rights that are inalienable; submitting to the military is a dishonor to yourself.

      • Shutthefuckup

        Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

        Samseau… a man wiser and older than you said this long, long ago, and many men wiser and more learned than you have agreed with him. Until recently, men of learning have always recognized an egostical life is a shallow life, an unfulfilling existence. A life worth living is a life of service to others or something other/greater than yourself, because through that service you derive true value. This truth is fundamental to human nature, yet because it is hard to reconcile to a materialistic and narcissistic world, this feeling is foreign to those who do not know the value of service.

        Those who deny this obvious truth can be neatly categorized into a group of souless, loud-mouthing, historically and morally ignorant individuals, whose company so far includes feminists, SATC fans, PUAs, and the like.

        Real manhood will be restored when those groups are properly shamed and brought to bear…

  • Shutthefuckup

    A man who is loyal to himself only is a slave to his impulses, to his animal nature.

    He is not civlized, he is not the apex of mankind. He is base, simple, barbaric, and expendable. His marginal value approaches zero.

    A man loyal to a cause, to an idea, to a purpose greater than himself is a man of instrinsically higher value, even as he sacrifices himself where the other man would not. He is a master of his emotions, his impulses, his nature.

    his offspring will survive, the others’ will perish…

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