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"It's harder for the families" | Ex Army Ranger and Hell Week star Ray Goggins

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin

14:01 15 Sep 2021

Former Army Ranger Ray Goggins has admitted that his job's emotional stress on the families of other soldiers can be tougher than the job itself. Goggins also discussed the mental challenges undertaken to become a Ranger, having quit the process when we first attempted it.

Goggins, who rose to fame as an instructor on RTE's Ultimate Hell Week, spoke on Wednesday's OTB AM about the mental struggles of the process.

Mental Challenges

Goggins detailed the mental challenges that occur during the Army Ranger training. He explained why he was not ready to be selected during his first attempt.

"I didn't make it through the training the first time because I wasn't mentally prepared," Goggins admitted. "I hadn't committed to what I was doing.

"I had doubts, and I was worrying about stuff I didn't need to worry about. I was 21, and I hadn't prepared correctly."

Goggins, whose book "Ranger 22" is set to be released, explained how the job became romanticised for him during his time in the military.

"They'd send the roadshow to the barracks with all the fancy gear," he said. "They looked like rockstars."

However, Goggins soon realised his physical abilities were not the only factor he needed when applying.

"I thought I was very fit, but that was a small percentage of it. It's all mindset. Two weeks in, I wasn't caught up at all, so I quit."

Massive Lesson

As the years progressed, Goggins applied again for the Army Rangers again:

"I learned a massive lesson from out of that [first attempt]. The big difference between then and the next time was self-belief. Physically, I would've been able for it the first time, but I started to worry about stuff.

"I trained my body, and I trained my mind. You train your mind by confidence."

Family Sacrifices

While the job entails a huge undertaking from the rangers, Goggins highlights the added stress the job can leave on family members back home.

"It's as hard, if not harder for the families.

"It's easier on the operational side, the things you take up. You have a certain mindset going forward. But when you come home, you have to go back to being the family guy," Goggins explained.

"Sometimes I was more nervous on the flight back to Dublin than to Kabul, for example. You wonder, 'are the kids going to be okay?' They were only small, and there's an adjustment period.

"You don't want to come home for four weeks and upset everybody and then go back for a few months."

Motivation

When returning home, Goggins points out the difficulties of dealing with mental stress from the job. He outlines keeping focus can help with maintaining purpose.

"One time, I was dealing with stuff for a particular number of months, and I came home, and I found I wasn't focused. I wasn't in the right place emotionally because I hadn't correctly dealt with whatever was on," he admitted.

"For me, purpose is very important. It's hard to motivate yourself. You need to give yourself goals in your downtime."

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