LOOK LIKE YOU’RE IN THE SPECIAL FORCES

ANONYMOUS

As told to Brendan Greeley

1 First, go to EMS and buy the biggest watch you can find. A foreign special services officer asked me once whether we recruited guys based on the size of their watches or whether we bought everyone a big watch as a reward after training.

2 Cut the sleeves off your shirt. It’s hot in the Middle East, and guys would cut the sleeves off their operational uniforms. It makes sense in certain situations, but I had to tell my team, “Look, I know it’s hot, but I need you to meet safety parameters. You’re gonna get scratched.”

3 Make it your boss’s job to tell you to get a haircut and a shave.

4 Wear sunglasses. Everywhere. I’ll tell my team, “Hey, we’re inside. We can take off our sunglasses.” But they don’t.

5 Keep quiet. The baddest guys I know are also the quietest. The guy who’s talking about doing badass stuff? He’s probably not the biggest badass in the room. It’s a little like that guy on the football team who wears his letterman jacket all the time.

6 Never say “no.” Your first reaction has to be, “Yes, I can do that,” and then you figure out how. If the president asked me to go to the moon tomorrow, I’d say yes. Then I’d say, “I’ll need some training. And someone who can fly a rocket.”

Anonymous led teams in the Middle East and South Asia as a special forces officer.

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