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Thomas Calko
10-26-2006, 19:52
I fully 100% support President Bush's vision regarding the war on
terror - stay on the offensive and defeat the enemy. I understand that
a Special Forces enlistment is 5 years long and President Bush will
only be in office for 2 more years. I believe that selection and
training in the Special Forces takes at least 2 years. My point is
this, if the next US president is weak on national security and does
not support a strong military, esp. special operations, or if he lacks
an aggressive solution to terrorism, how does that affect the missions
and recruitment of Special Forces?

How does your role as elite warriors change depending on politics and
White House administration? What are your thoughts on the future of
special ops and terrorism? Does it really hinge on presidential
policy? What would happen if an anti-military president and congress
were elected? What do you guys think?

lksteve
10-26-2006, 19:58
I fully 100% support President Bush's vision regarding the war on
terror - stay on the offensive and defeat the enemy. I understand that
a Special Forces enlistment is 5 years long and President Bush will
only be in office for 2 more years. I believe that selection and
training in the Special Forces takes at least 2 years. My point is
this, if the next US president is weak on national security and does
not support a strong military, esp. special operations, or if he lacks
an aggressive solution to terrorism, how does that affect the missions
and recruitment of Special Forces?

How does your role as elite warriors change depending on politics and
White House administration? What are your thoughts on the future of
special ops and terrorism? Does it really hinge on presidential
policy? What would happen if an anti-military president and congress
were elected? What do you guys think?the question is this...are you motivated to serve? the oath you take is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States...you do not lose your right to vote after enlistment...but you have to live with the President the people elected...the question isn't whether or not a President affects life in SF...you are waaaay too early to be worrying about that...you need to decide to serve in the Armed Forces or not...then you need to decide if you want to volunteer for SF or not...then, you have to work your ass off to get a shot at serving in SF, then you have to make it through the training, then you have to get integrated on a team, then you have to survive a deployment or six...then, maybe, you'll have time to worry about politics...

but that's only my $0.02...

The Reaper
10-26-2006, 20:07
I think that you should do some research and reading and come back with your own hypothesis to offer.

Bluntly, you are too far from being in the Army, much less SF for it to be a problem for you. The odds of you becoming an SF soldier are not something I would care to wager on in Vegas.

These questions seem to me to be irrelevant at this point in time due to the unknowns you are offering.

As for my opinion, I think that we are in a very long fight against terrorism that will outlast many careers here, and that SF will continue to be the weapon of choice for dealing with them overseas. If we fail in our mission, due to lack of support or our own failure, we will then have to fight them here in our country, with our friends, neighbors, and families paying the butcher's bill that Iraqi citizens are currently suffering.

Think about a 9/11 for every month here, or one really spectacular one from WMD. I believe that sums up our mission, motivation, and employment probabilities.

Good luck.

TR

airbornediver
10-28-2006, 11:52
I know people want to say "hey you're not SF focus on that before focusing on other things". And in part, I have to agree with that. However, I think that knowing (or at least intelligently) discussing the potential ramifications of a change in presidential and congressiona administrations on teams deployed and teams gearing for deployment to OIF/OEF is essential SA.

Without violating OPSEC, I can say that over here, the beauracracy that limits us is definately a pain in the arse. I know that we are wondering what's going to happen in the nov. elections, and are going to be watching it as closely as we would anything else. The effects of having too many "lets pull out in 6 months or less" people in charge would seriously screw some stuff up here.

Voting is being stressed throughout higher, as it should be in all of the Army, SOF and CF; and we are all watching to see what changes will be made and if there will be more restrictions put upon us.

I'm not trying to piss anyone off or tell others how to think, just offering up the suggestion that knowing how a potential change in leadership at the excutive and congressional level would effect operations on the ground is something very important, and should be watched closely.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
10-28-2006, 12:12
There is way too much involved in this to provide a simple answer, however SF missions have been SF missions ever since the beginning of SF-only the names have changed and the functions more defined to enable folks to properly train and equip for those missions. The fact is that many of us trained and prepared for many missions for which we were either never called upon to execute or were called upon to execute in short order. SF teams prepare for missions based on the theater mission profiles and OPLANS that support whatever the civilian leadership deems to be important. Political will and national interests, whether properly defined or not, will determine if and when anyone is deployed/employed. Throughout our history we have been abused, improperly deployed/employed and have still been able to pull off what was expected and then some due to the professionalism of the SF soldier, common sense, and a level of expertise uncommon to most. I am sure that will not change but the one constant that will never change is the caliber, professionalism, and expertise of the SF soldier. I say that because I have seen it over a career in bad times and in good. As far as you are concerned, you train to ensure that when someone says its time for you to go that you are ready to do so. You will get only one chance and those with whom you serve will depend on you being able to do your job. It is as simple as that.
While you can worry all you want to about who will be sitting in the hallowed halls of Congress and the White House it doesn't change a thing as far as your personal focus in concerned-you are either ready to do their bidding or you will die or get someone else killed. You are the instrument that all the politicians will look to that will be used to either shore up well thought out strategies in support of our national interests or be a pawn that will pay for bad decisions that support personal political agendas and egos. If you are charged with being a leader for any of these folks, your job is to support the chain of command, get the mission done, take care of your troops and make sure that you have done everything you can do to make sure that they will be capable of executing the tasks assigned.

Pete
10-28-2006, 12:28
..... I think that knowing (or at least intelligently) discussing the potential ramifications of a change in presidential and congressiona administrations on teams deployed and teams gearing for deployment to OIF/OEF is essential SA....


I served under Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1 and Clinton. I did crappy things under all of them and I did good things under all of them. No administration has a lock on stupidity or bright ideas. Big government changes slowly, you'll be able to see the train coming down the tracks before it hits you.

Dragging "essential SA" into just who is president is a bit of a stretch. Now, you may need SA in order to see the train coming.

Pete

CoLawman
10-29-2006, 08:56
[QUOTE=Pete]I served under Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1 and Clinton. I did crappy things under all of them and I did good things under all of them. No administration has a lock on stupidity or bright ideas. Big government changes slowly, you'll be able to see the train coming down the tracks before it hits you.

Succinctly put Pete!:lifter

The Reaper
10-29-2006, 08:57
I know people want to say "hey you're not SF focus on that before focusing on other things". And in part, I have to agree with that. However, I think that knowing (or at least intelligently) discussing the potential ramifications of a change in presidential and congressiona administrations on teams deployed and teams gearing for deployment to OIF/OEF is essential SA.

Without violating OPSEC, I can say that over here, the beauracracy that limits us is definately a pain in the arse. I know that we are wondering what's going to happen in the nov. elections, and are going to be watching it as closely as we would anything else. The effects of having too many "lets pull out in 6 months or less" people in charge would seriously screw some stuff up here.

Voting is being stressed throughout higher, as it should be in all of the Army, SOF and CF; and we are all watching to see what changes will be made and if there will be more restrictions put upon us.

I'm not trying to piss anyone off or tell others how to think, just offering up the suggestion that knowing how a potential change in leadership at the excutive and congressional level would effect operations on the ground is something very important, and should be watched closely.

I disagree.

You need to understand the political environment as it pertains to your mission and follow all lawful orders given you by the chain of command. Period.

I only served in SF in three decades, but IMHO, if you work to the best of your abilities to accomplish your assigned mission, perform your duties to the best of your abilities, and take care of your people as well as you can, you have done all that can be asked of you, regardless of who is in Congress or the White House. As noted above, SF has good years and bad years. Right now, everybody wants to be SF. If you are not willing to be here and to do your best when the bloom is off the rose and Groups are being stood down, I do not want you in my force. We survived Carter and Clinton, and they employed SF as much or more than the more military oriented presidents.

The original question strikes me as a bit of trolling for a political food fight, or an attempt to find something to start a thread about.

If you want to be SF, that decision should not be affected by who is in the White House or Congress. If it is, you probably do not have what we are looking for. That is the long and short of it.

If you do not like your civilian leadership, you may do two things about it. Vote against them in the next election, or resign/ETS/retire at your next opportunity. You do not have a choice beyond that. You sign the contract and suborn yourself to the desires of the Army and the needs of the nation, under whatever elected and appointed leadership our people choose.

We have civilian leadership of the military in this country, that is good and is the way the Fathers intended it. If you only want to serve under a specific party, you need to try another country which has a dictatorship, a military government, or a single party system.

Good luck.

TR

incommin
10-29-2006, 13:39
The military is an extension of the government. SF is a fist or a glove to be called upon by whoever happens to be the Commander in Chief. It is not a soldier job to decide if orders are right or wrong. The soldier's job is to complete the mission assigned regardless of personal feelings and to bring as many of his fellow solders home as possible. To paraphrase an old saying "yours is not to reason why, yours is but to do or die". Otherwise, stay the hell away from the military.

Jim

airbornediver
10-29-2006, 13:49
You need to understand the political environment as it pertains to your mission and follow all lawful orders given you by the chain of command. Period.

that I whole-heartedly agree with. That's a point I was trying to make (but evidently failed). Do I agree with every decision that the CoC makes? No, however, I just get the job done with the tools I have available.

I only served in SF in three decades, but IMHO, if you work to the best of your abilities to accomplish your assigned mission, perform your duties to the best of your abilities, and take care of your people as well as you can, you have done all that can be asked of you, regardless of who is in Congress or the White House. As noted above, SF has good years and bad years. Right now, everybody wants to be SF. If you are not willing to be here and to do your best when the bloom is off the rose and Groups are being stood down, I do not want you in my force. We survived Carter and Clinton, and they employed SF as much or more than the more military oriented presidents.

First off, I really do appreciate and am thankful for those that came before me, that blazed the path I walk walk on, for my father and grandfathers are both in that esteemed company. Even when it sucks, I still like it here, sure sometimes things are frustrating, and maybe some of that was bleeding thru in my previous post, however, I volunteered for the job, I like it, and will keep doing it as long as I can. I wasn't trying to say that the SF decision is based (on any level) on who is in control of the White House, and I hope I didn't come across that way as it was not my intention.


If you do not like your civilian leadership, you may do two things about it. Vote against them in the next election, or resign/ETS/retire at your next opportunity. You do not have a choice beyond that. You sign the contract and suborn yourself to the desires of the Army and the needs of the nation, under whatever elected and appointed leadership our people choose.

Again, both points that I agree on and that I also personally believe, and yes, I have ETS'd once before, though that wasn't based on who was president, it was based other options (college, etc). I do vote, and encourage others in the army to do so, for in my time I've known many who don't.


We have civilian leadership of the military in this country, that is good and is the way the Fathers intended it. If you only want to serve under a specific party, you need to try another country which has a dictatorship, a military government, or a single party system.
Another point I agree with and do know, and there is no other country in the world that I'd rather call home. IMHO, America is the best place on earth, and I love being there.

Maybe I didn't clarify things in my previous post, while there's not much in specifics that I can say, what I can say that I know that its smart to be aware of the political climate back home and abroad. Sure there are things that comes down the CoC that seems very counterproductive at times, but that doesn't mean I don't follow orders. Sure we all get that WTF? moment when something off the wall comes down, but we all suck it up and drive on.

I"m sure everyone has had a "wtf?" moment when it comes to something asinine that the CoC has sent down, but the job still gets done. That's what I was trying to say, in part, and not trying to come across as anything but that. I realize that I probably didn't clarify my thoughts or write articulately at the point in the night, and for that, I apologize, and I hope I've made it clearer now.

Again, many thanks and tremendous respect to those who came before me.

LongWire
11-05-2006, 11:32
Here is something thats been bugging me for awhile that I will try to clarify.

Ive been in group for 8 yrs now, and I feel that I can expound on something that I think makes SF the great place that it is. Of course understanding that SF used to have the SF baby program, and not taking anything away from those guys.
Todays X-Ray program, has problems, and those withstanding, I'm not sure that the guys signing up today understand, even though they have information right at their fingertips.

When I volunteered, it was a no brianer. I had started off in 2nd Ranger Bn, and then done a couple of yrs in LRRS. I was on levy orders to Drum, and there was no way that I wanted to go there. I had been kicking SF, around for awhile, my Father in law at the time was just retiring out of 1st group as an E8, who had served in every group.

Anyways, when I got to group, I was surrounded by Great Americans, True Patriots.

I'm not so sure, that the current generation signing up truly understand, that commitment. Not to downplay their commitment, especially in a time of war, of course they are welcome and they should be congratulated on their service. I think that a lot, not all, of the guys coming now think its the Cool place to be. As well as the college boys coming to punch their ticket, and get some money job when their initial enlistment is up. Now of course there are exceptions to the rule, but the more I look around, the more I see guys just filling slots, looking for cool kit and whatever else before they punch out for the next Cool thing.

Doubt what I'm saying? Read any obit of any soldier out there right now, 99% of the obits of any straight leg out there and you will read that he had intentions of joining SF and or escorted SF, and or worked with SF........ETC.

When I got here, SF was a place where experienced guys came to supplement with their experience, as well as to gain more. It was a place to go where you could stabilize yourself, and work with guys for years instead of months. It was a true commitment, your Team was everything, no exceptions, no questions.

Now I'm not sure that I can really fault a guy who after a 6 yr initial enlistment, whos served 4 yrs in a group, and fed up with the system, who gets out because some contractor, or other agency is gonna be throwing stacks of cash at him. I'm just not sure thats what SF really needs for the force.

And as far as being the Cool place to be, yeah we get some good gear, missions ETC. I've also done some pretty stupid stuff, as well as standing shoulder to shoulder with SGM's out cutting grass..........how cool is that? Cool that they were out there too, but a real distractor from the other stuff we had going on.

SF is a true commitment, and should be considered as such. This is a place you come to to hone your skills and apply them in real world applications. This is a place where you retire from. SF is not some place to be used as a stepping stone, or some place to "get your kill on" and then leave. We deserve more than that, and I am wondering what the force will look like in another 5 yrs of being watered down from all of the young guys.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that you have alot of other shit to worry about than what the Administration is. I worked through the whole Clinton Administration and there will Always be work. Believe me, with whatever happens on Tuesday, there will be no shortage of work for us in the future. The direction might change but we will still be on the Lead Vehicle.

bost1751
11-05-2006, 12:16
Longwire:

You can not compare the "old"(for lack of a better word) SF baby program to today's 18X program. For the most part the oder version attracted those that wanted to be there, not 100%, but a large percentage of us entered after already on active duty and stayed for several years. We had a one time shot at making it, there was no train up phase. There are a bunch of retired E-9s and CWOs that were the last of the "old SF babies.

I do not know much about the 18X program but from the little I think I know I am not in favor of it. I also do not support a lot of what I am hearing about some of the things the Army and SF Training Group are doing now. It seems to me the hidden agenda in much of this is to pad statistics, ie; we graduated 95% as opposed to the 32%. Just my opinion and I think you qualified your statement reference the SF babies compared to 18X ffairly good.

LongWire
11-05-2006, 12:50
bost17151:

Thanks,

I guess I was basically venting about the current state of what I've been seeing.
I know there will always be the comparison of Now VS. Then, and I hate to be one of those guys saying, "back when I came in", but age and experience are my guidelines here.
What I think we have been seeing is a shift in making a Career long choice, and just making a Job choice. I dont dislike the xray program per say, I just think that Some of the younger guys we have been getting, have been poor choices for SF.

That's not to say that they are all bad, but I would say a majority of them are guys that you can see right through.

I also failed to mention, that SF was also a place for guys who could think on their feet, and operate with little or no instructions, and were guys that you could trust to operate sometimes in very small numbers, in sensitive areas, without having to question whether they were gonna do the right thing.

I think people forget that..........I cant tell you how many times I've had cherry Captains, trying to explain that we need to watch our P's and Q's because blah, blah blah...............

Jack Moroney (RIP)
11-05-2006, 13:34
I cant tell you how many times I've had cherry Captains, trying to explain that we need to watch our P's and Q's because blah, blah blah...............

Good post, however I cannot believe that things have changed that much when it comes to training/managing your team leaders. This officer thing about tepidly walking thru a perceived minefield to keep their career from blowing up in their faces is not new. However, there were only a few cases where I had to actually get involved as a B-Team or Bn Cdr to adjust some officer's headspace and timing before the team was able to do it first.

LongWire
11-05-2006, 13:48
Good post, however I cannot believe that things have changed that much when it comes to training/managing your team leaders. This officer thing about tepidly walking thru a perceived minefield to keep their career from blowing up in their faces is not new. However, there were only a few cases where I had to actually get involved as a B-Team or Bn Cdr to adjust some officer's headspace and timing before the team was able to do it first.


Yes Sir,..........thats not to say that those Captains don't receive some corrective counseling from time to time..............

JPH
11-05-2006, 14:28
bost17151:

I also failed to mention, that SF was also a place for guys who could think on their feet, and operate with little or no instructions, and were guys that you could trust to operate sometimes in very small numbers, in sensitive areas, without having to question whether they were gonna do the right thing.
.

Call me young and naïve, but this scares/worries/saddens me a bit… the term “was” implies the past, serving my country with other highly trained and self motivated men is why I am working so hard to earn a slot in SF. It is why I am not pursuing a career in the field of my college studies, as I am sick of being “worthless” and working with unmotivated amoral people who think the world owes them something or everything. I think I am doing this for the right reasons, I just hope there is some filter within the pipeline that prevents those with the wrong motivations from polluting what I hope to someday join.

JPH

LongWire
11-05-2006, 15:29
Call me young and naïve, but this scares/worries/saddens me a bit… the term “was” implies the past, serving my country with other highly trained and self motivated men is why I am working so hard to earn a slot in SF. It is why I am not pursuing a career in the field of my college studies, as I am sick of being “worthless” and working with unmotivated amoral people who think the world owes them something or everything. I think I am doing this for the right reasons, I just hope there is some filter within the pipeline that prevents those with the wrong motivations from polluting what I hope to someday join.

JPH


That's a little bit out of context, I was speaking about when I came into SF..........it is still a place where these things do happen. As far as filter goes, that remains to be seen. You seem like you're more informed than some others, and I will tell you to let your conscience be your guide. If its something you really want to do then, make your decision and work hard at it remembering that the hard work doesn't stop when your done at the Q course.

My comments come from what I've been seeing lately from a majority of the guys. My point is that this should be a higher calling, and that your attitude and professionalism should reflect accordingly.

In other words work hard, and it will be rewarding. With the right attitude and professionalism, You Too can be one of those guys who others will call upon to do the special stuff, without questioning whether your right for the job or not!!!!

stuW
06-16-2008, 09:39
Gentlemen,

It appears I missed this conversation by two years, but I saw an article in NYtimes recently that I thought was relevant to the initial question in this thread.

My interpretation of the underlying issue from the start of this thread was if changes in the administration alters Special Forces motivation to complete its job - I would presume the explicit answer is no based on responses. I think a deeper question on this topic is if members of the military should not only have reasons for joining SF, but if they should also be informed on the reasoning behind operations and specific wars. A multitude of studies and experiments conducted to improve knowledge of organizational behavior, including from former professors and friends of mine at the University of Michigan, have found that organizations that take the time to explain the purposes of each employee's job within the context of a larger organization's mission, along with sometimes illustrating the outcomes of the organization's work, makes employees significantly more productive, both in terms of bang for buck and bang for time. (some studies have found increases reaching 50% boosts without any changes in pay)

This brings me to the article. John McCain's dissertation at the Army War College after Vietnam, according to the NYtimes, argues that the army should teach the reasons for specific wars/interventions to its soldiers - he alleged this would reduce the number of soldiers breaking under torture. Beyond the more obvious concerns - political indoctrination, politics mixing with military, emphasis on motivation being political rather than service oriented - I think it's an idea worth entertaining for this specific thread, as presidential priorities change with administration. For example, an interesting question is will motivation to complete missions in Iraq be impacted if a president opposed to the war is elected?

Moving the thought from inputs and outputs to outcomes, is it conceivable the civil-military effort in Iraq will be negatively impacted simply by having a president known for being against the intervention, even without yet changing a single policy? Would teaching soldiers the reasoning behind OIF offset that potential outcome? If that reasoning differed - for example, from a liberal/democrat perspective vs. a republican perspective, would the outcome differ, or would simply a reasonable explanation, regardless of its actual material, improve productivity or effectiveness? And if so, would these issues be simply constrained to conventional army, or would they stretch into Special Forces as well?

Sorry in advance if I have become too theoretical for this forum, but this thought process might keep me up late tonight, and I thought it might be conceivable there would be others seeking to discuss this topic as well.


The article on his dissertation is at the bottom, and its title is In ’74 Thesis, the Seeds of McCain’s War Views, released June 15, 2008 (the link will probably break in several months).
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/us/politics/15pows.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1213628497-CbSN225TxA0NcvFDc+Mi4Q

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-16-2008, 11:45
This brings me to the article. John McCain's dissertation at the Army War College after Vietnam, according to the NYtimes, argues that the army should teach the reasons for specific wars/interventions to its soldiers - he alleged this would reduce the number of soldiers breaking under torture. Beyond the more obvious concerns - political indoctrination, politics mixing with military, emphasis on motivation being political rather than service oriented - I think it's an idea worth entertaining for this specific thread, as presidential priorities change with administration. For example, an interesting question is will motivation to complete missions in Iraq be impacted if a president opposed to the war is elected?

]

First of all his paper was written in 1974 and like all military papers written in the various war colleges they are flavoured by the teaching points and assignments in the development of the paper.

Second, this has been done for years and is part of the curricula in our military war colleges.

Third, anything printed by the New York Times has been over edited to ensure that the liberal bias of the paper is not only preserved but that, if need be, additional information less than factual might be included to support their thesis which was more than likely developed before they wrote the article.

Fourth, had McCain not been running for president this would never have been published.

Fifth, motivation comes from within and not from political or military indoctrination.

Sixth, Soliders fight for each other and not for an administration. Once the mission is given and the battle is enjoined no one cares who is in the white house they care about taking care of each other and getting the job done.

Seventh, and the above six are just for starters.

SF_BHT
06-16-2008, 16:18
First of all his paper was written in 1974 and like all military papers written in the various war colleges they are flavoured by the teaching points and assignments in the development of the paper.

Second, this has been done for years and is part of the curricula in our military war colleges.

Third, anything printed by the New York Times has been over edited to ensure that the liberal bias of the paper is not only preserved but that, if need be, additional information less than factual might be included to support their thesis which was more than likely developed before they wrote the article.

Fourth, had McCain not been running for president this would never have been published.

Fifth, motivation comes from within and not from political or military indoctrination.

Sixth, Soliders fight for each other and not for an administration. Once the mission is given and the battle is enjoined no one cares who is in the white house they care about taking care of each other and getting the job done.

Seventh, and the above six are just for starters.

Very good response Col Jack But why stop at 7 you were on a roll....:munchin

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-16-2008, 18:59
Very good response Col Jack But why stop at 7 you were on a roll....:munchin


Big thunder storm was in bound-had to shut down and head for the bunker:D

SF_BHT
06-18-2008, 07:48
Good Call!!!!!!

Wait until his head pops up again and continue the education process.:munchin

stuW
06-21-2008, 14:38
Third, anything printed by the New York Times has been over edited to ensure that the liberal bias of the paper is not only preserved but that, if need be, additional information less than factual might be included to support their thesis which was more than likely developed before they wrote the article.

Fourth, had McCain not been running for president this would never have been published.

Fifth, motivation comes from within and not from political or military indoctrination.

Sixth, Soliders fight for each other and not for an administration. Once the mission is given and the battle is enjoined no one cares who is in the white house they care about taking care of each other and getting the job done.

Seventh, and the above six are just for starters.

Col Moroney,

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my post. I apologize for not replying earlier, however I have been entrenched in studying for my exams to complete my masters. I have been keeping my eye on the 25 M target.

Frankly, I was hopeful that you would respond to my post. I have read many of your previous posts, and expected the topic to potentially interest you. I was a little confused about your response, so I will list my confusions/questions below.

Points 3 and 4: While I understand you may have concerns with the New York Times for media bias, I don't understand the pertinence of your attacks on the publication with my use of a fact from an article in it. Do you have concerns about the fact I used with regard to McCain's dissertation?

Point 5: I have no background in military history, however, I would suppose that morale/motivation has impacted the outcome of wars. If, as you suggested, the politics of a country (and therefore the civilian leaders of the military) do not impact morale/motivation within the military, I would be highly interested in learning what makes the military different from other public or private organizations with respect to this issue. Leadership direction often impacts the productivity of an organization. Are there specific criteria that make Special Forces/the military more resistant to these potential impacts on motivation?

Point 6: If you had to fight to defend the US on US soil, would that impact the motivation/productivity with which you fight? Would it impact the army or military? My initial thought is yes – thought it would be unintentional – I also imagine the situation would affect the extent of the impact.

Point 7: If you have other thoughts that could further improve my knowledge on this issue, I'd be interested in reading them.

I appreciate any input you or other writers on this forum might have.

Cheers,

Stu

The Reaper
06-21-2008, 14:57
Would you like to take something Obama wrote that same year, and subject it to the same kind of scrutiny? Perhaps after he had been imprisoned and tortured for several years.

Oh, that's right, you have to have a record to be criticized for it.

And a media outlet needs to publish the critique.

TR

stuW
06-21-2008, 15:56
Would you like to take something Obama wrote that same year, and subject it to the same kind of scrutiny? Perhaps after he had been imprisoned and tortured for several years.

Oh, that's right, you have to have a record to be criticized for it.

And a media outlet needs to publish the critique.

TR

Sure, I would be willing to take something from Obama and subject it to equal scrutiny, or more, depending on its ostensible importance. I think I understand the point - more research is being focused on the McCain's background than Obama's. I appreciate that point, and I wouldn't be quick to either accept or reject it.

A side point - If you take a look at the New York Times piece, I think it paints McCain in a relatively positive, or at least neutral light. They make it appear like his thoughts were rather astute for the time, and were shaped heavily by his experiences in Vietnam. Perhaps its me, but I thought the writing might make people more likely to vote for McCain.

However, I'm not really interested in who came up with the idea. If I were, I'd be writing/reading a political blog rather than a Special Forces forum. I'm interested in what you think of his idea, and if implemented, would it have implications on Special Forces, and perhaps the military as a whole?

Cheers,

Stu

The Reaper
06-21-2008, 16:21
We are all aware of the role of national will and the support of the American people in the pursuit of "diplomacy by other means".

While Carter and Clinton were the subject of morbid humor among the ranks, soldiers do not fight for their leaders, they fight for their brothers.

I would suspect that the political inclination of a President or other civilian leaders would have more effect on the enemy's morale and motivation than on ours.

I truly believe that a leader calling a war lost or declaring a timeline irrespective of battlefield successes borders on treason. If Lincoln had taken counsel of his naysayers, declared the war lost, or announced a timeline for withdrawing his forces, this country would be far different today.

TR

stuW
06-21-2008, 16:35
I would suspect that the political inclination of a President or other civilian leaders would have more effect on the enemy's morale and motivation than on ours.

While I've read/heard that argument before, i didn't consider it while posting. Thank you for improving my ability to consider the complexities of this discussion.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-22-2008, 14:09
7 If, as you suggested, the politics of a country (and therefore the civilian leaders of the military) do not impact morale/motivation within the military, I would be highly interested in learning what makes the military different from other public or private organizations with respect to this issue. Leadership direction often impacts the productivity of an organization. Are there specific criteria that make Special Forces/the military more resistant to these potential impacts on motivation?



You seem to read a lot into simple answers to complex questions. I did not suggest that the politicians had no impact on morale, as a matter of fact I did not mention morale at all. My point dealt only with motivation and the fact that motivation comes from within a person and is driven to satisfy a personal need. While extrinsic factors impact on or can even trigger that internal need to act it does not create motivation. However, the impact of extrinsic factors and their effects on motivation varies from person to person. Do not try and equate the lessons taught in business schools on leadership and productivity to the military-they are for the most part totally unrelated. Productivity in the business world deals with the bottom line which is measured by cost effectiveness and producing a profit or breaking even for non-profits. We measure our costs in blood spilled and clotted. Leadership in business is often confused with management where resources, including people, are manipulated to acheive the goals of profit production. Soldiers are not resources for consumption but cogs in the gear box of a complex, dynamic, living entity that consumes resources provided for the accomplishment of a multitude of tasks focused by an over arching strategy enabled by leaders who do not separate men from mission but enmesh themselves in seamless web of actions to enable their troops to succeed 24/7.

Scimitar
06-22-2008, 15:19
I think that a lot, not all, of the (18X) guys coming now think its the Cool place to be. As well as the college boys coming to punch their ticket, and get some money job when their initial enlistment is up. Now of course there are exceptions to the rule, but the more I look around, the more I see guys just filling slots, looking for cool kit and whatever else before they punch out for the next Cool thing.

To digress back a little to a previous post here.

Interestingly enough somewhere in the vicinity of 60% of 18X contracts are being signed by the kid who walks into the recruiting office and after taking the ASVAB is informed that he qualifies for SF.

Often this spiel goes on to say..."we currently have the 18X contract on a quick-ship bonus, if you ship in three weeks we can give you a $40k bonus."

"So....what's SF exactly?" says the prospect

"Oh it's just high speed infantry, you'll love it"

A large majority of 18X contracts are signed under pressure to meet mission from on high and ship with-in a few weeks. Again not knocking USAREC, just a reality of the machine, but is it the right machine for the 18X contract?

I think I may have already bashed this opinion here a little bit but, the 18X program is given to generic USAREC recruiters, who are fundamentally equipped to find the 18 -20 year olds with little direction in life. Does that sound like an SF candidate to you? (Seriously, this is a paraphrase of the USAREC demographic statement).

The 18X contract has unique benefits that can attract excellent candidates if it was just proactively marketed. Currently it is not marketed at all and therefore generally only the standard USAREC demographic is exposed to it. Not blaming anyone here, it’s just classic corporate syndrome.

Somewhere around 50% of 18X contracts are bowing out of their 18X contract during Basic.

I'd be interested to see the stats on the core buying motive of the 250 odd 18X recruits graduating from SFAS each year. As Longwire pointed out I imagine many of them have yet to realize the history and honor they’re about to step into, instead they only recognize the ‘cool’. Good on them for getting selected mind you, but….

PS.com has been lobbying lower and middle management at USAREC to change this and ears are beginning to listen. We'll see….

Thoughts, we need more 18D, why not advertise into pre-med colleges and EMT outfits and guarantee them 18D in their contract (like ARNG)
We could find some great 18C at the local Carpenter Unions. Some evidence shows that Language students and International Studies students have a tendency to enlist 18X. Yet non efforts are being made to prospect these demographics.

20-25% of 18X have at least a degree a significant percentage of prospects I talk to are in college, would an ROTC type program increase the enlistment of these gentlemen?

Interested on thoughts from QPs

Scimitar

stuW
06-24-2008, 20:22
I did not suggest that the politicians had no impact on morale, as a matter of fact I did not mention morale at all. My point dealt only with motivation and the fact that motivation comes from within a person and is driven to satisfy a personal need.

It seems we were working with different definitions of motivation. Organizational Studies literature doesn't distinguish between the internal force/effort to act and morale, which while different, is related to motivation. I used the word motivation to describe both processes. After reviewing your comments, it appears we more or less agree after translating the definition of motivation.

Do not try and equate the lessons taught in business schools on leadership and productivity to the military-they are for the most part totally unrelated. Productivity in the business world deals with the bottom line which is measured by cost effectiveness and producing a profit or breaking even for non-profits. We measure our costs in blood spilled and clotted. Leadership in business is often confused with management where resources, including people, are manipulated to achieve the goals of profit production.

Initial thought: Is there a specific reason that blood spilled may not be considered a cost to creation of inputs, and the result of the battle/mission be considered the revenue? I surmise you may argue it’s because measurements of costs and benefits are very difficult, but were you not faced with decisions where you could expect if missions were attempted that lives would be lost, and still decided to move forward with the mission? It would seem to me that simply because you are making a decision with the costs being lives instead of money isn’t reason enough to dismiss attempting to apply business concepts to the military.

Tangential thoughts: I think I understand your resistance to productivity measurements at what seems to be a more micro level analysis and the problems associated with valuation of the inputs and outcomes, but I do believe the use of productivity measurements in “the military” may be more macro than you stated.

Like many other public organizations, the military produces a public good that is both non-excludable (all citizens in the US receive national defense) and non-rival (one citizen's consumption of national defense does not reduce the amount of national defense for others). The production of this public good, and the different factors that affect it (including politics), is what we are discussing. This method of thinking, of taking private sector ideas and translating them for the public sector to create an applicable model which includes a focus on productivity, were constructed by Mark Moore at the Kennedy school and have since been, more or less, accepted by Public Policy academia. (For more information on Public Goods, see Moore's book http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Public-Value-Management-Government/dp/0674175581/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214337347&sr=1-2)

While I do accept that applying a Profit = Total Revenue - Total Cost does not work, as valuing revenue and costs in the military becomes quite difficult, the military does utilize a modified model of Cost-Benefit Analysis. I'm sure you know this far better than me (I believe many of these changes were being implemented during your service in the military), but the Pentagon in the early 1960s implemented the Planning Programming Budget System (PPBS). (see McCaffery and Jones of the Naval Postgraduate school for more information) Essentially, PPBS was designed to measure how a budgetary input decisions impact production (output), and the results (outcomes). My impressions from readings on this topic is that while the budget didn’t value American lives lost, it attempted to value weapons, which to some degree involved valuing the effectiveness of a weapon, and therefore its ability/extent to injure or kill the enemy. I believe the valuation of these inputs is also considered with respect to redundancy, through the use of the JSOP and QDR, among others (correct me if wrong).

It would seem to me that you may counter by describing this macro-system is simply part of the management process, and that once the results of these processes and interactions reach Special Forces, leadership becomes more important to successfully complete missions (outputs) and their resulting impacts (outcomes). I’m still left a little confused by the distinction of management and leadership, especially after you mentioned that management included the manipulation of people (I would have considered that leadership, as it strikes me as a soft skill). I’d be interested in learning if you believe your commentary applies unconditionally in the military, or if it was intended for certain perspectives or situations in the military. And after considering all this, there is the consideration from the start - how does the president affect this production of national defense?

I can only translate your messages based on my experience (essentially none – I’m 23) and education. I am, however, trying my best to keep up with you and actually understand it, so I can recall and use it if I am fortunate enough to make it through OCS and become an MI officer in the army.

Stu

Guy
06-25-2008, 02:46
stuW:

Originally Posted by Jack Moroney
Do not try and equate the lessons taught in business schools on leadership and productivity to the military-they are for the most part totally unrelated.

It'll be 115+ degrees out here today...:munchin

Stay safe.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-25-2008, 05:35
implemented the Planning Programming Budget System (PPBS). (see McCaffery and Jones of the Naval Postgraduate school for more information) First of all I do not need to "see" anything for more information and second, if you are going to quote information at least get it right.* It is PPBES- the E was for execution and was/is an integral part of the process.* Now, we can beat this philisophical discussion about encapsulating the similarities and differences between military and other organizations to death, but you have to realize that the application of leadership and management principles are not all inclusive and vary not only from echelon to echelon but, in the case of leadership, from person to person.* You can build and train a manager to always do things right, ie by the book.* You cannot build and train a leader if he does not have the requisite psychological and physiological attributes and is not able as an individual to always to the right thing, ie not necessarily by the book.* In your world the individual exists to enable the organization to succeed as it is the organization that is all important and exists to satisfy and the keep the stockholders happy.* In my world the leader(who also must manage) exists to enable the soldier to succeed because it is the soldier and not the organization that is most important. That is as simple as it gets-but, there are, of course variations and exceptions.

Guy
06-25-2008, 06:24
stuW:

I in-processed to come back over here with a guy who, just graduated with a degree (Masters) in Economics, he thought I was joking when I said...

"If you can't embrace the suck factor, you're going to have a hard time and your advance education won't mean shit!";)

With in 48hrs he was complaining after landing.....:munchin

Stay safe.

stuW
06-25-2008, 12:08
Thank you for your responses, and answering my questions. I have learned some important lessons.

Cheers,

Stu

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-25-2008, 15:26
Thank you for fastidiously pointing out

You're welcome. Now go look up the definition of a smart ass, or better yet look at your own reflection in your computer screen.

jatx
06-25-2008, 16:25
I can only translate your messages based on my experience (essentially none – I’m 23) and education. I am, however, trying my best to keep up with you and actually understand it, so I can recall and use it if I am fortunate enough to make it through OCS and become an MI officer in the army.

Stu

If you want to add any value at all in MI, you need to learn how to communicate effectively. You sound like a John Cleese parody of an Oxbridge professor after an all-night drinking binge.

Here's a lesson:

1) Learn to listen. This means more than simply waiting to talk.

2) Compose your message, then reduce the character count by 50% before hitting send.

3) Rinse and repeat.

stuW
06-25-2008, 17:29
To all members of this forum,

I attempted to engage in intellectual conversation and improve the qualities I myself would bring to the military. Unfortunately, it seems I became a bit excited by these posts and the outstanding, accomplished people who were posting back. I exemplified immaturity, ego, and disrespect - these qualities would be detrimental to the military, and in certain circumstances, could result in getting others hurt. Many people have weaknesses and faults, and today I grossly illustrated one of mine. I'll be spending my time reading on this site from now on, and sincerely apologize.

I truly feel the discussion improved my ability to think about the issues discussed better, but consensus indicates it didn't help others. That undermines part of the purpose of this website, and I am well aware my postings/rants brought about this result.

Apologies again, and I am hopeful that I can make contributions in this world as many patriots here have,

Stu

Guy
06-26-2008, 02:41
You're welcome. Now go look up the definition of a smart ass, or better yet look at your own reflection in your computer screen.Take care and stay safe.

Jarmak
09-08-2008, 19:25
I normally avoid posting here seeing as I haven't even completed BCT yet and don't really feel like I have anything of value you to add. However since the motivation of 18x recruits has become a topic of conversation, being one I thought submitting my own story regarding becoming such might provide you guys with some fodder for discussion. Don't want to get too "lifetime special" on you guys but since the discussion is based on motivation I think a brief bit of history is necessary for context.

I basically have wanted to join the military since I was about 14-15 (I'm 22 now), for some reason in high school I was obessed with the Marines, can't tell you why now. Instead of joining I let myself be convinced into going to college, which didn't last because I was young and stupid and decided I'd me the girl of my dreams and wanted to go settle down and be married instead, again I didn't join because I didn't want to leave her. Fast forward three and a half years and I'm walking into a recruiter's office having broken up with said girl six months prior and having decided to go pursue what I've wanted to do my whole life.

I walked in not knowing anything about Special Forces ( I had heard the term "Green Beret" before and knew a little about them, though I didn't know that "Army Special Forces" was the same thing). I was pretty familiar with who the Rangers were and what they did, and had aspirations of being one someday But I felt it presumptuous to walk in asking for the rangers, so I elected to aim for 11b opt4 (Airborne), with the goal of working toward the rangers after getting some experience under my belt.

After my my ASVAB scores came back qualifying me for SF (my QT was 94, all line scores ranged from 130-136) my recruiter started pushing me to think about it because it would include the training I walked in looking for, but be a step above it. I was pretty skeptical at first (my first thought was he was just trying to dupe me into signing a 5 year contract), but being totally ignorant of the special forces I decided to research it before making a decision on it. I'm glad I did, because the more I read about what the SF is about (alot of which I gathered from this forum), the more I decided that it was everything I was looking to get out of the Army. Despite my initial apprehension about the IA program I decided that it was too great of an opportunity to pass up and made the commitment to myself that while I won't disrespect those who have already completed SFAS by saying I "know" I can do it, I will say that I know I won't quit.

I'd say my principle motivations for joining the 18x program are as follows, in order of highest to lowest priority:

-I want to be the best I can be, I feel that by I would not be living up to my potential in the infantry, speaking more in the mental sense then the physical sense. A position that requires me to be able to think and act independently, as well as exhibit a level of professionalism a cut above the rest, I feel would be much more personally fulfilling.

-Traveling and other cultures have always been a fascination of mine along with the military, the idea of being a soldier while at the same time learning another language and working directly with other cultures sounds like an amazing opportunity to me.

-I want to know that the guy next to me is the best, even if it means being in a more dangerous situation because of it.

-Lastly this is more speculation then anything since most of the information surrounding it is classified, but the ability to get some of the most advanced training in the world (such as HALO and various army specialty schools) and actually put it to use outside of exercises (whens the last time a regular airborne unit performed a combat drop for example?) is appealing, but I wouldn't list this motivation as anything near as important as the other three.