Forum Home
Newest Members
Thetrevguy, dont_aim_here, DillonCH, kuncirinolo, Quinn321
3138 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums23
Topics970
Posts3,133
Members3,139
Most Online952
Dec 16th, 2016
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#3076 - 10/10/17 11:01 AM Personality of ST Teams  
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
professional_47 Offline
FNG
professional_47  Offline
FNG

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
DC
I relayed in my intro how, as a civilian, I enjoy reading about the differences among special operations units. I just finished reading Billy Allmon's book "Navy SEALs and Their Unabashed Humor" where he recounts several humorous and more dark humor stories from training and deployments, such as playing practical jokes, explaining how that comes with the territory being in that line of work.

In the past I've also read "Guardian Angel" by SMSGT William Sine on being in Pararescue, and I remember one part he mentions how all special ops units are similar in their level of dark humor and playing jokes/pranks on each other, because 'excess is hardwired into their personalities', his words.

Does this reflect your experience serving in the Special Tactics teams? If so, are there any differences in unit personalities/dynamics you have noticed serving with SEAL, SF, or Marine Recon teams?

#3081 - 10/11/17 08:53 PM Re: Personality of ST Teams [Re: professional_47]  
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 31
SW Offline
Operator
SW  Offline
Operator

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 31
VA
I think you see most high-functioning units all have similar type atmospheres to some degree. There's always a bit of deviation based off of individual personalities from team to team though. I've seen a unit go from very generally lackadaisical to very focused in just one year based solely off a few personnel changes that can transform everyone's point of view.
Dark humor is a definite similarity amongst most units. In a way, it helps guys cope and share thoughts about extremely disturbing situations, which in a way can be healthy if appropriate.

SW

#3095 - 10/18/17 09:35 AM Re: Personality of ST Teams [Re: SW]  
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
professional_47 Offline
FNG
professional_47  Offline
FNG

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
DC
Originally Posted By: SW
I think you see most high-functioning units all have similar type atmospheres to some degree. There's always a bit of deviation based off of individual personalities from team to team though. I've seen a unit go from very generally lackadaisical to very focused in just one year based solely off a few personnel changes that can transform everyone's point of view.
Dark humor is a definite similarity amongst most units. In a way, it helps guys cope and share thoughts about extremely disturbing situations, which in a way can be healthy if appropriate.

SW


Thanks for sharing SW. I came across these articles the other day I think you will find interesting also, that some in the military, in particular special warfare and operations, exhibit high levels of production of Neuropeptide-Y, or NPY, that allows them to return to normal cortisol levels after a stressful event.

How the Bravest Are Different

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10807963

Last edited by professional_47; 10/18/17 09:38 AM.
#3096 - 10/18/17 11:23 AM Re: Personality of ST Teams [Re: professional_47]  
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Yukon Online
Operator
Yukon  Online
Operator

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Anchorage AK
Task performance efficiency when the combination of uncertainty, frustration, and fear begins impairing ability to perform while doing differs from coping mechanisms present before and after exposure to a psychological traumatic event. The performance efficiency concerns avoiding panic (a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior) while the before and after (recovery) coping concerns resiliency (able to utilize their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and challenges).

What is attributed in the linked to article as "The Grip" (coming on-a mixture of fear and frustration) is an impairment to perception while performing. When the loss of perception extends to psychomotor impairment (loss of peripheral vision, tensing of muscle) it has become being in a state of panic.

What is attributed in the linked to article (how the bravest are different) as "The Grip" (coming on-a mixture of fear and frustration) differs significantly from having or not having appreciation for dark humor. It also differs from unit or team culture being very generally lackadaisical or being very focused. The organizational culture causing performance and mission readiness impairment is most often a leadership failure within the unit or a leadership failure in the chain of command above the unit.

#3103 - 10/19/17 09:58 AM Re: Personality of ST Teams [Re: Yukon]  
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
professional_47 Offline
FNG
professional_47  Offline
FNG

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
DC
Originally Posted By: Yukon
Task performance efficiency when the combination of uncertainty, frustration, and fear begins impairing ability to perform while doing differs from coping mechanisms present before and after exposure to a psychological traumatic event. The performance efficiency concerns avoiding panic (a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior) while the before and after (recovery) coping concerns resiliency (able to utilize their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and challenges).

What is attributed in the linked to article as "The Grip" (coming on-a mixture of fear and frustration) is an impairment to perception while performing. When the loss of perception extends to psychomotor impairment (loss of peripheral vision, tensing of muscle) it has become being in a state of panic.

That's an important distinction. Based on that difference it seems like combat and SERE training as the Psychology Today writer, Jeff Wise explains would be a combination of the two vs task performance efficiency dealing with uncertainty, frustration, and fear like in rock climbing. But like myself, he conflates the two as one quality.

Last edited by professional_47; 10/19/17 09:59 AM.
#3106 - 10/19/17 10:35 AM Re: Personality of ST Teams [Re: professional_47]  
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Yukon Online
Operator
Yukon  Online
Operator

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Anchorage AK
Although SERE training replicates environments to cope with the replication is controlled in such actual exposure to danger, peril, and hardship is minimized. The SERE training environment doesn’t require bravery or courage as SERE training by design is familiarization exposures to aid in coping and decision making.

The SERE training given to SERE personnel instructing the SERE courses and providing SERE training is more thorough than the SERE training given to pilots, aircrew. But even the training given to instruct and train at such courses while more unpleasant and physically demanding seldom requires traits of bravery and courage that is often implied but never actually verified. The majority of student attrition from SERE training is not connected to lack of courage or bravery.

Quote:
nearly as stressful as actual combat
Nearly or almost as stressful as in difficultly and frustration avoids mentioning the absence of being shot at by a shooter having intent to kill, the absence of IEDs that can and will kill, the absence of being captured and subsequently, if not shot on the spot, being held prisoner for years and years.

Bravery is to endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear. This doesn't mean individual is not experience some presence of fear.

Courage is the ability to do something that frightens one. Ability more closely encompasses human performance efficiency in actually getting a task accomplished, but not really as the ability to do task competently and proficiently still needs to be present as an ability.

#3108 - 10/19/17 02:52 PM Re: Personality of ST Teams [Re: Yukon]  
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
professional_47 Offline
FNG
professional_47  Offline
FNG

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
DC
Originally Posted By: Yukon
Although SERE training replicates environments to cope with the replication is controlled in such actual exposure to danger, peril, and hardship is minimized. The SERE training environment doesn’t require bravery or courage as SERE training by design is familiarization exposures to aid in coping and decision making.

The SERE training given to SERE personnel instructing the SERE courses and providing SERE training is more thorough than the SERE training given to pilots, aircrew. But even the training given to instruct and train at such courses while more unpleasant and physically demanding seldom requires traits of bravery and courage that is often implied but never actually verified. The majority of student attrition from SERE training is not connected to lack of courage or bravery.

Quote:
nearly as stressful as actual combat
Nearly or almost as stressful as in difficultly and frustration avoids mentioning the absence of being shot at by a shooter having intent to kill, the absence of IEDs that can and will kill, the absence of being captured and subsequently, if not shot on the spot, being held prisoner for years and years.


When you put it that way, it seems like the PT article is oversimplifying issues about military training for general audiences.

#3114 - 10/20/17 01:42 PM Re: Personality of ST Teams [Re: professional_47]  
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Yukon Online
Operator
Yukon  Online
Operator

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Anchorage AK
Many articles often leads to misleading impressions when the reader lacks experience to give adequate understanding of the information put forth in the article. Further authors lacking experience of being a student in intense military training programs or involved in providing such training as the qualified instructor or training curriculum developer often have misleading impressions based on interpretation of what they have read.

SERE courses and training, other than that required for award of SERE AFSC, lack being attrition oriented. Most SERE courses and training is given to service members at high risk of capture. The high risk of capture student demographics is most will never with deliberate intent and decision be put into doing SERE duties outside of a training environment. Consequently, SERE training given to service members at high risk of capture is a first time familiarity exposure to stressful, mock SERE-related training challenges more so than having purpose of developing necessary competencies to perform SERE duties outside of a training environment. Thus when comparing so called intense military training and courses it is important to understand the technical skill sets the curriculum is concurrently qualifying and certifying the student is competent and proficient to do in terms of human performance capability being put in a concurrently physically and psychological demanding environment to do something.

Although physical (fitness) training, mental toughness training and resilience training all have purpose of enhancing performance efficiencies the training focus do differ. However, physical fitness training with no other training added does nothing to ensure high levels of cognitive performance and maintain high performance under stress.

Although military training organizations may and do when it's appropriate create rigorous training standards that test the mettle and resolve of trainees, when implemented the type and severity of stressors to which airmen are exposed to ensure that training matches intended goals and complies with ethical principles exposure to certain stressors may be counterproductive or even harmful. Such training process in formal in-resident courses sets the stage for learning the skills to effectively cope with stress encountered in subsequent phases of required training where they are exposed to stressors to enable the student to handle the greater levels of stress encountered outside the training environment . Finally, team skills are particularly important in occupations where critical tasks are interdependent. That is, team skills are essential when mission performance depends on effective communication, coordination of actions, and timely performance feedback. Consequently, this training often facilitates the identification (screening for suitability to do the job as a member of a team) of individual team members most likely to contribute to success in a given situation (teamwork training).

Performing duties in the BA AFSCs certainly requires the ability to cope with severe stress and perform efficiently in physically and psychologically demanding environments to ensure the mission succeeds. The concern I have of generalized articles is there is no differencing disclosed in training particular to specific military occupations and generalized training given to a broad demographics of uniformed service members performing duties in numerous vastly different military occupations.

SERE training is applicable to the existence purposes of several in-resident formal courses. However, the stressors encountered in each of these courses have different ceiling limits on the intensity of the stressors encountered by the students. Integration of stressors undergoes risk analysis to desired skill acquisition outcome as the training the students are exposed must match intended training goals and objectives. Air Force SERE training is inclusive of several formal in-resident courses varying in length of a few days or a week or two to the many months of required training and courses required for award of the SERE AFSC. Lumping all this training under a simplified SERE training umbrella gives exaggerated expectations of what this training encompasses. Similarly the existence of PAST requirement for qualification into an AFSC also builds unrealistic expectations the student must be superman before trying to entry classification (entry job placement) enlist or cross-train entry classify into the BA AFSCs. Forgotten is all the entry classification requirements pertinent to PAST is designed to determine suitability of the typical or average 17 to 22 years of age civilian entering into military service applicant to get trained to a mission need level of physical fitness during a eight week structured training program.

The term resilience refers to the ability or strength of an individual to endure or recover from a stressful or traumatic event. However, since prior exposure to trauma has also been found to be an important risk factor for stress reactions, it remains unclear which conditions are necessary to bolster resilience.

Stress Exposure (Inoculation) Training involves training and instruction on the stress process to increase individuals familiarity with potential stress reactions. It's somewhat similar to Physiological Training that gives training and instruction to increase familiarity with conditions and situations encountered in flying aircraft such as hypoxia, spatial disorientation, trapped gas problems, decompression sickness, acceleration forces leading to gray-out, black-out, or even unconsciousness, noise, vibration, and thermal stress.

#3136 - 10/28/17 12:23 PM Re: Personality of ST Teams [Re: Yukon]  
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
professional_47 Offline
FNG
professional_47  Offline
FNG

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
DC
Excellent, thank you for the comprehensive breakdown Yukon on you general impressions and differences of specific types of training. This deserves more than one reading.

Last edited by professional_47; 10/28/17 12:24 PM.

Popular Topics(Views)