Graduation: Hell on Earth Part 1, How Graduation Came To Be

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Graduation: Hell on Earth Part 1, How Graduation Came To Be


As Class 001 officially began I knew I had to develop a graduation, but didn’t know what it would look like or entail.

The guys were not ready for a Navy SEAL Hell Week simulation, but I thought to myself how powerful the story would be if I could get them ready and if they could buy into the entire process.

I vividly remember one guy coming to me and saying, “Cole you know that half of us can’t make it through an event like you went through in Kokoro right?”

Trust in the process is all I could say to myself.  I knew one month in, three major components had to come together in order for it to work:

  • Belief.
  • Trust in the process.
  • Do the work.


First thing first, I had to get the guys to believe in what they were building.  Developing anything from scratch is no easy task, but to ask guys to go through a 60-hour non-stop crucible event is another thing.  If they didn’t believe, then it wouldn’t work.  How did they do it? Easy.  Day-in and day-out they trained like warriors together.  They celebrated each others victories as well as held each other accountable to the highest level.  And I knew that if they could experience triumph and failure together then brotherhood was imminent.  Another key to building belief is seeing other men grow in front of your own eyes.  When that happens you create an unbeatable team.

Second.  Not only did the guys need to believe in the big picture, but they had to trust the process.  Knowing that Warrior Box was in development mode for business reasons, I decided to implement it first with Class 001.  I used it as an incentive to keep the guys disciplined and motivated.  And it did.  Week by week we would enhance the training, I would infuse conflict, I would require hard conversations and week-by-week the guys kept getting stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Knowing that there would be a “messy-middle,” I would have to rely on my WHY and their belief to pull them through, but action was key to getting the results that was required to conquer the SoM 60-hour Crucible.

Do the work.  We didn’t stop.  We didn’t take breaks.  I made sure the guys were always on their toes. Of course guys went on vacation.  Some went to the beach, others went to the lake, but we never quit.  They never quit.  Doing the work is never easy and there was a lot of failure in between, but ultimately everyone had a common goal as they headed into graduation.


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