Nov 2, 2019
Hello all! My name is John and I am considering joining the military, current plan is 18x straight to Army Special Forces pipeline. I am currently in an advanced Doctorate of Physical Therapy 3+3 program as a freshman. I am doing really well in school, and still think I would enjoy and be a good physical therapist; however, I just have this insanely strong feeling that its not for me right now. I am like 99% sure I want to finish the year and join the military. Because I am in an advanced program taking way more classes, this would equate to about a year and a half of college. Current GPA is a 3.75.

I am 18 years old, and from Philadelphia, attending school in central PA. None of my immediate family members are or were in the military. In fact they are very anti-war and anti-military. This poses several slight issues. My grandfather served in the army and was a Green Beret during Vietnam. I am not sure about much more than that other then he is very anti military nowadays. Both of my parents played D1 sports, which lead to me having a tremendous genetic advantage (mom played basketball, father chose wrestling over cross country). I am 5'10" 160ish 10% body fat. Unfortunately I was unable to train consistently this summer and only slightly since the start of school. I was in the best shape of my life upon graduating high school. Started training like crazy after wrestling season. I just joined my school's boxing team and will be working out 6 days a week. This will help. Athletically, I believe know damn well I am able to do it. On the soccer field, I am fearless, never quit, and play with an extremely physical manner, not traditional of soccer. I use my physicality rather than my fancy footwork. I never quit and remain calm no matter what is happening. With wrestling, I never really loved it, but having my father as my coach, I did everything to be successful and I was very very good, yet not great. Ultimately decided not to wrestle in college as academics are the priority, per advice of my father. I worked very hard and began to build the mental toughness that will help me succeed in life. From waking up at 5am every day to lift, to cutting weight, to scoring late in the third period to win. My next passion athletically is fishing. sounds dumb, but it has taught me that when I want to be the best at something, I can do it. I started fishing my freshman/sophomore year of high school. By my junior year, I had learned more than most do in a lifetime. Next passion is golf. Started playing occasionally with my parents and friends, then started to like it. Got a job at a golf course to build social skills for PT career. I used my work ethic and athleticism to get really good. I played almost 3x a day on average for 4 months and went from never playing in my life to near scratch level golf. I am a slow learner in boxing and wrestling, as I need repetition to get it down, but once I do, I become really good. I am also extremely in flexible which makes me injury prone, though I tend to push through it. This is a highlight of my athletic career thus far, hopefully it is helpful.

Academically, I have been very successful. I have always considered myself to be very smart. I knew I want to make a positive impact on the world, and planned on following the family path of education, but fell in love with physical therapy. I pushed myself hard in school. Took a lot of science and math classes all ap and honors level. Did very well on SAT, NHS, blah, blah, and blah. Took latin for five years.

I have always loved survival and being outdoors, so I am used to uncomfortable sleeping, being cold, surfing, and other stuff. this will help tremendously and I plan on working on these skills as I train.

When I thought about what role I wanted to have in the military I knew I wanted to make the biggest difference possible, be the best of the best, and be forced to use my brain and my athleticism. I ultimately feel that an SF Medic is the way to go and is the best combination for me. If there's one thing my loving and so-far-supportive
father has taught me is that if you want something in life, you do absolutely everything in life you can do to be successful and achieve your goal, and if it works out, great, if not, you did everything you did and will therefore have no regrets. This is my attitude towards my goal of becoming a Green Beret; however, should I decide to join the military and go for it, I will succeed and do whatever it takes to get there. I know I can pass the physical stuff with flying colors. I have been running sub 5min miles since 8th grade, and was never able to break 10min in the two mile (10:02, 10:03, 10:01). I am not good at pushups but am confident I will be ready to go. Running is definitely my strong suit, I'm not an ultra marathoner or anything, and I am not as skinny/lean as runners are typically, giving me an advantage in other aspects too. Ultimately it is not the physical stuff, besides injury, but the mental aspect that breaks people. I have a very good work ethic and am mentally very tough. I need to improve these areas though, as they will be put to the ultimate test. I am confident that I am smart enough too.

Before I make my decision, I want to talk to my grandfather as he is the person I trust more than anyone else with advice and he went through the course years ago. I also want to talk to a former soccer coach who went to Ranger School and served in the 75th Ranger Regiment. He is a very similar soccer player to me characteristically?. I trust these two people and want to hear what they have to say. I plan on doing this within the next month. If I decide to drop out and join, I will be training all summer and try and leave in September. I am not sure if I will live at home with my mom who is off in the summer (dad works year round), my lake house by myself, or with my grandparents. If I live at home, family live may pose an issue. If I stay at my lake house, I would be able to work at the golf course again and train too. If I live with my grandparents I will have a former Green Beret and one of the best wrestling coaches in the state to help me train.

Ultimately, I am positive I want to serve for my country. I am hesitant to finish my schooling now because I will be set for life and am worried that I will take the so-called "easy" route and work as a physical therapist. If I wait another year, I'll be too close to graduating and the same will happen. I am in my athletic prime, and am thinking that the time is now. My only concern is preventing injury, which will be a big obstacle for me. Additionally, I am not a stereotypical "badass", people don't shake in fear when I make eye contact. Im more of a happy, introverted, butterfly type person who's afraid of offending people. lol. I just happen to be athletic enough, motivated and pretty smart. I am not sure that I am at the maturity level I need to give it my all, and I want to get there but don't know how.

I know this may seem like im just bragging, but facts of the matter is, I haven't done shit to prove myself yet, so I have no right. The SF community is clearly full of some of the best people America has to offer and I desperately want to be one of them. I think I hit the genetic jackpot and and fully prepared to do everything I need to make it; however, I need to be fully prepared to do so.

- John