Character and the Special Forces Soldier

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I thought that future soldiers might find this piece in the "Small Wars Journal" last month both interesting and informative. It's by BG Sacolick, the DCG of the USArmy Special Warfare Center and a former SFODD (Delta) Commander. I've excerpted a portion and link to the full article.
    http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2008/11/character-and-the-special-forc/
    "Appreciate the fact that 75 percent of the Soldiers, mostly airborne Soldiers and many with combat experience who began the course, are no longer here today. This is the Army’s most physically demanding course. Scholastically, each Soldier must master more than 1,000 critical tasks, specific to his assigned specialty and hundreds of advanced war-fighting tasks, plus demonstrate a proficiency in a foreign language before they graduate. There is simply not a more demanding school in the entire U.S. Army.
    There are also several more intangible qualities that the Special Warfare Center is tasked to evaluate before we can allow a Soldier to wear a Green Beret. Qualities such as maturity, commitment, judgment, courage, initiative, decisiveness, empathy, self-confidence and adaptability. These qualities can be summarized in one word: character. There are men who have mastered their occupational skills, hone their tactical skills, become absolutely fluent in a foreign language and be the most prolific warrior since Rambo but without character they will not be a member of this regiment. Character is what defines Special Forces.
    Character is a fundamental demand that our operational environment places upon our force. The men who don the Green Beret will be sent to the ends of the earth and in most cases they alone will represent and make decisions on behalf of the United States of America. Our Special Forces Soldiers routinely work in small isolated detachments, alone and far removed from the support and protection or daily guidance of the U.S. Government. They will only have each other to depend upon so we must insure that every single one of them has the character and integrity to function, maneuver and operate in these very complex environments. When our young men are thousands of miles away from their leadership, can we depend upon each and every one of them to do what is right? Can their fellow teammates count on them, without regard to the dangers involved? Of course they can and I am very, very confident that our graduates will always achieve their assigned mission. This is the expectation that our country, and all those who have gone before them, places upon our Regiment.+
     
  2. usnahopeful

    usnahopeful USNA Midshipman

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    Thank you Bruno for posting that!
    Very Respectfully
    USNA candidate appointee
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    The lesson to take away- being hard is not enough. These are the guys that you will be training to lead in a hard world where you are on your own. The article is talking about Army SF- it's just as true of all of the services - SOF and conventional.
     
  4. flyersboy114

    flyersboy114 USAFA Cadet

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    Thanks bruno! It was a great read, and I learned a lot :D

    I didnt know about El Salvador either, that made my day :D
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Not only that, but the days of "total war" are over (at least until the next one). You can't just level a town anymore because someone took a shot at you. To be able to respond with restrain requires a very high level of discipline under such conditions.

    For the record, I support the use of overwhelming force applied with little consideration beyond killing the enemy, but I was raised and trained in a different age. We trained to win, not to win and look good on camera in the process. :thumb:
     

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