3 Tools to Sharpen your Problem Solving Skills for A&S
By now most of you know that Indoc is no more, and has been replaced with Assessment and Selection. What you might not know is that A&S is NOT a course, it is a Selection. What I mean by that is, you will literally be Assessed and Selected (or not). The cadre will be watching your every move, taking notes on your personality, how you react under stress, what you do when you think no one is watching you, etc. This is not a course where the cadre will teach you, chat with you, or motivate you. The cadre’s job will be to Assess your performance physically and mentally based on observation then select you based on the abilities they see. In fact, there is NO graduation standard for A&S right now.
In the first A&S class of 2019, 48 out of 117 finished the physical portion and of those people, 33 were selected. The biggest reasons why these people made it through but weren’t selected was a lack of problem solving skills in conjunction with a lack of attention to detail. What makes Special Operations Forces successful is not simply their physical strength but the ability to solve problems others can’t.
So how will you get selected?
First and foremost, your physical fitness will be pushed to your limits… and beyond. SHOW UP WELL PREPARED. I’m talking the old Indoc Grad standards… meet those standards prior to showing up for SW Prep. They might not be using the grad standards as exit standards, but they are still choosing people based on that level of fitness. As a PJ, your job is to be in shape so you can save lives, so get in the best shape possible and show the cadre you are not only prepared for the test, but you are prepared to make fitness a lifetime commitment.
Another aspect of selection is peer/cadre evaluations. Your peers will also be giving feedback on what they think of you. Regardless of the Special Warfare career you’re going for, we want men and women who work well in team environments… someone who can follow, someone who can lead, and someone who is mature enough to put the success of the mission and the lives of their teammates above their personal desires and comforts. Additionally, the cadre will be taking notes on you throughout the 4 weeks you spend at A&S, looking at a variety of factors that will make a good PJ/CCT/TACP/SOWT. If you have attended one of my recent in person training events, this is something I have incorporated to give you an insight on how the cadre and your peers perceive your talents/personality.
One specific factor of your personality/mental talents they are scrutinizing is your problem solving ability. How do you expect to be able to rescue anyone, anywhere, at anytime without being able to critically think through problems? Yes, we want you to be in the best shape of your life physically, but that isn’t enough, you have to possess intellectual skills to be an elite operator.
What are some things you can do to work on your problem solving skills?
I recently spoke with the Special Warfare Training Squadron Commander, and he gave me some really great updates about the very first A&S class. He personally recommended working and developing your problem solving skills through things like LSAT practice books. For more of the stats he gave me, check out my latest youtube video for those details.
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Here are a few Free and Paid resources to get your mind on track! Please note that some of the links are affiliates so I will get a small commission if you purchase through my links at no extra cost to you.
1. Free LSAT Practice Tests & Online Games
2. Practice LSAT Workbooks
3. Mobile Apps
Your mind is just like your muscles, the less you utilize it the more it will atrophy. Do what you can now to prepare yourself! If I find more resources, I will come back and update this post. Please post in the comments if you know of any useful guides as well.
Thanks for reading and Burn the Boats.