David Goggins: Army Ranger Training Means New Skills

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Was David Goggins an Army Ranger? What was David Goggins’ Army Ranger training like?

David Goggins wanted to go above and beyond and keep pushing himself. David Goggins’ Army Ranger training followed his SEAL training, and was a way to gain more skills.

Read more about David Goggins’ Army Ranger training below.

David Goggins: Army Ranger Training

Sometimes, we’re so scared of failing that we stop ourselves from even trying something. To combat this, frame your failure as an opportunity to learn something so it feels less risky. Then, if you fail, you can evaluate the failure and refine your approach to reach your goal. 

Once you’ve met your goal, pushing yourself to go above and beyond rather than settling can help you continuously improve yourself and achieve greatness that distinguishes you from others.

Goggins’s experience attempting to become an Army Ranger and breaking the Guinness World Record for pull-ups demonstrate these principles.

More Training Desired

After Goggins’s SEAL training, he got deployed with a platoon to Malaysia where he realized that he held himself to a higher standard than other SEALS. SEALS are considered elite compared to the rest of the Navy and compared to society in general, but Goggins felt like he desired to push himself, train harder, and earn his keep more than even most SEALS wanted to. 

In addition to physical training, Goggins spent his free time studying weaponry and war. In his first evaluation, he got feedback that he should spend some of that time socializing as a way to learn from the other guys informally and understand the job better. But he was introverted and didn’t want to spend time partying in off hours.

Most people take a break when they finish a deployment, but Goggins decided to look into training in the special forces units of other military branches between deployments. He requested to go through Army Ranger training—he felt he could better himself by gaining additional special operations skills.

David Goggins: Army Ranger Training

Goggins traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia for Army ranger training. The training consisted of six different phases, including weapons knowledge, navigation, and reconnaissance. For example, one phase consisted of learning skills in the mountains like patrolling and rappelling. 

To prove their skills, trainees had to complete four nighttime field training exercises. One night, a winter storm blew in, and all anyone had for warmth was a thin poncho and each other.

Goggins figured that the storm represented a perfect simulation of the conditions that would make soldiers vulnerable to an enemy attack. Instead of huddling with the group, he walked out to hold part of the perimeter, shouting into the night when he reached it. In doing so, Goggins demonstrated his interest in pursuing opportunities to lead and stand out from the rest. A few others were inspired and did the same. 

David Goggins: Army Ranger Training Means New Skills

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Here's what you'll find in our full Can't Hurt Me summary :

  • What a Navy SEAL says about pushing yourself to achieve greatness
  • How to put in more effort to realize your potential
  • The 10 challenges you can take on to reach your goals

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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