Graduation: Hell on Earth Part 2, The WHY and HOW Behind Graduation.

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Graduation: Hell on Earth Part 2, The WHY and HOW  Behind Graduation.

If you want to test your merit and your WHY you have to go to the darkest part of your soul.  This is the premise of Graduation.

Now before you jump to conclusions, Graduation is designed to teach 

me how not to quit vs. getting them to quit.  This is a major difference between the SoM 60-Hour Crucible and other events like it such as SEAL Hell Week and Green Beret Selection.


I made my mind up well in advance that any man who made it through the SoM deserved to graduate.  Did I speak this clearly to the men? No. Why? Mystery.


The premise of the SoM is to be an extreme accountability group with standards that equal the SEALs and other elite organizations.  No bullshit.  No entitlement.  Only the best-of-the-

best make it and I don’t mean just physically.


A man in my books is someone who is vulnerable.  It is the hardest thing any of us can do.  Opening up.  Being real.  Being raw.  Too many of us hide behind the mask.  But when a man lowers his mask and decides to be the man he was destined to me, that to me is where he starts to truly live.  I saw this definition actually become a realty October of 2017.


Knowing what I know about endurance events and pushing the envelope you must go to the dark side to experience true growth.  Knock on the devil’s door.  Smile.  And come out victorious.  


When I began to build out the mission concept (think: blueprint) I was careful in who I chose to help administer the event.  My support staff and Cadre’s had to be tier-one men who understood the big-picture of the SoM. After careful consideration and extreme vetting, I assembled up to 15 men that would help change the landscape of the SoM for the future.


Each detail of the mission concept was discussed with the team.  Shifts, check-points, after-action review, objectives, pre-existing conditions, logistics, food, are just a few of the details that had to be reviewed, broken, and remade before we could actually execute a flawless event.  Of course the plan never survives first contact and we even had contingencies for contingencies.


The men were issued their shirts, MRE’s, and had one last evolution. The circle of truth.


Before the men could enter into graduation that each had to go through the circle of truth.  Each man stood in the middle of a circle while their teammates told them how they had impacted their life.  This single evolution was probably the most powerful moment in the SoM.  It showed the brotherhood the men had forged.  Tears were shared, hugs were given, the men were ready.


One week later after the circle of truth was graduation. The dance with the devil himself.



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