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Spec Ops Candidates - Is This You?

Stew Smith

Tell me if this is you… 

Are you an aspiring special operations candidate who dreams of becoming a special forces operator? If so, there are some things you need to understand about Tactical Fitness.  There are phases you need to master. 

Currently, are you focusing on crushing your fitness test and preparing for spec ops selection. AKA – try to get TO and THROUGH the training.  Getting TO the training is phase 1.  Getting THROUGH the training is phase 2.  Both are different programming with phase 2 building on your phase 1 testing prep foundation.  

Ultimately, your goal is to serve in special operations and belong to an elite team of warriors.  We all were here.  Every operator or veteran of special ops community were once wanna-be's too. We get it. But, make yourself smarter, do your research and PREPARE - otherwise you will either fail like the majority of candidates or never pull the trigger and even try out for these professions. 


  • Spec Ops Prep – One Stop Shop Research Article

    I remember when I was a candidate like you.  All I wanted to do was focus my training to be able to do the following.  

    • Crush fitness test.

    • Pass selection standards.

    • Get a spec ops contract.

    Tell me, would you be ecstatic if you could be at this level today:

    It takes time. Time in training all of your weaknesses and achieving the optimal level scores just so you can get your foot in the door to even try out.  Once you get your ticket to attend selection, your training has to change to focus on the elements that will challenge you the most.  Usually longer runs, ruck, swims with fins, load bearing activity (logs, boats, equipment / people carries), and being able to learn tactical skills quickly. Being OK with being cold, wet, sandy, uncomfortable and receiving near constant negative feedback is also something you have to be able to handle.  Are you ready for that?

    You may need more time, as right now you likely need to figure out how to: 

    • Get rid of physical weaknesses (such as strength, swimming or running).
    • Get mentally tougher. 
    • Crush the PT Test, but also build up durability and overall work capacity to endure the selection training program of your goal profession.
    • Assess yourself and know what your strengths and weaknesses are compared to successful spec ops candidates: Assessment Tools to Track Your Progress (Spec Ops Selection)

    You have to be patient with the process as it is easy to get frustrated by the fact that you are: 

    • Seeing very little progress with ALL you have to do.
    • It's more competitive to get a slot to training than you realized.
    • It's even harder to get THROUGH the training once you get there – getting TO the training is the easy part. 
    • What is optimal?  Are you there yet? 

    Do you need answers because what you are doing is not working? 

    So what is holding you up? Is it… 

    • Not having access to ideal training facilities?
    • You think you have to be a born runner or swimmer to succeed?
    • That you see great athletes quitting all the time, so you think how am I going to survive training? 

    People of all shapes and sizes, athletic histories, and backgrounds make it through special ops selections every year.  Just because you may not look like some poster, does not mean you cannot serve with an elite team of like minded people. You just have to want it, know WHY you want it, and prepare consistently.

    You need to focus on what you want to do and WHY.  In your case, you want to 

    • Pass selection on the first try – First Time Every time!
    • Not even consider quitting during training!
    • Serve your country with like-minded people in an elite team setting! 

    Here is where I would start. 

    Check out the Three Phase System for Recruit Success article - How Any Spec Ops Candidate Can Succeed.

    Assess yourself to see where your strengths and weaknesses are:

    Assessment Tools to Track Your Progress (Spec Ops Selection)

    Then See Which Program is Right for You...or ask if you need help - email me at

    Check Out - Which Program Is Right For You?

    It depends on many factors that also depend on each other. 


    Complete List of Books, eBooks, Training Programs

    Be a Better Recruit

    So You Wanna Be a Frogman

    And finally: 

    If you are going to ask a mentor questions, learn how to ask good ones:

    Asking Great Questions if You Need Assistance


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