Jerry Cans & Special Forces

Jerry Cans & Special Forces

By Drew Garner

Green Beret, Head of Design


There is a relatively small plot of land in the sandhills of North Carolina that is home to the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) and the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). The men who have been here, pass or fail, can recall the environment well; The scent of an expired brush burn giving the giant pines room to breathe, the morning dew that has no mercy on the gear and men that endure it, or the echoing words of “board change” ringing through the crisp night air. You see, it's not the training itself that recalls this hallowed ground, it's the components that make it what it is. The accessories to the bigger picture are what makes this place an environment to build and develop some of the best men that I have had the pleasure to work with: The Green Berets.

Few things are capable of bringing back memories of SFAS like the jerry can does. Anyone who has accepted the challenge of selection can attest to it. They can attest to the miles paced out while carrying two plastic jugs of water that seem to get heavier with each step. They can recall the sensation of ligaments and tendons reaching their breaking point as they struggle to hold the weight. Each man carries the weight with the understanding of the consequences that follow when they touch the sand beneath their feet. Leave a trial, start over. Can’t carry the weight, you let down your team and the men to your left and right. If one fails, we all fail. 

The weight of a Jerry Can is not about the water. In fact, it has nothing to do with the physical item in your hands. It is about your ability to go above and beyond what you thought was possible. The weight you carry is about fortitude. It is about how far you will go when you are given an impossible task. All for the sake of the team and the mission. 

The weight of a jerry can can carry many different references. Maybe the weight means something different to you than it does to me. It can be something relative to your profession, your personal life, or a competition. The idea is to improve your life and build upon the abilities you already have. To develop and encourage fortitude in everyone who chooses to carry the weight. At GORUCK, we accept the impossible with open arms. It is in our DNA. We will provide the weight, but you have to carry it.