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Old 11-28-2017, 14:25   #1
tim30006
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Careerism, cronyism, and malfeasance in the Special Warfare Center

"The following email titled “Careerism, Cronyism, and Malfeasance in SWCS: The End of SF Capability” was sent via a mass blast through Special Operations Command (SOCOM) yesterday. The email was penned by a Special Forces instructor at Fort Bragg who is dismayed by slipping standards and careerism, providing a damning critique of what has been an ongoing issue as the Special Warfare Center and School for over a decade."


Edit to add: We saw the email the same time all of Special Forces did and decided not to post it. And we're not going to advertise it for the seals website.
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Old 11-28-2017, 17:35   #2
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Another example of General Failure. Congratulations SWCS leadership, you have failed to meet four of the five SOF Truth standards.

• Humans are more important than Hardware - FAIL
• Quality is better than Quantity - FAIL
• Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced - FAIL
• Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created after emergencies occur - FAIL
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Old 11-28-2017, 19:02   #3
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Lowering of standards

One of the issues we have discussed include the lowering of standards.

When SF Command decided to add a 4th SF battalion we knew it could not be done without lowering the standards and we were right.

Right now the standards are at the lowest level in Special Forces history, why, because of the 4th battalion and……….. allowing a female to possibly pass the course.

And make no mistake, the first female to actually pass (kate wilder does not count and the entire Special Forces community knows it) the Special Forces Qualification course is a million-dollar baby. She will be the first female “green beret” and she will have the book and movie rights. Think I’m being sarcastic, not in the least. It will be the same with the first female SEAL……..


This is part of barry soetoro’s legacy, his “officers” have been in charge for almost a decade. Going to take a few years to turn it around.
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Old 11-28-2017, 19:24   #4
Old Dog New Trick
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If you are interested in joining and volunteering for Special Forces training and future assignment to a Special Forces Group and A-Team, know this...

The standards that have made U.S. Army Special Forces “Green Berets” the best in the world may be at an all time low but, what happens in school will precede and follow you the rest of your military career.

Things like: honor, integrity, selflessness, candor, and the moral courage to do the right thing when no one else cares...will continue to be what you are judged on.

Anyone perceived to have “skated through” will have a hard time gaining and maintaining the trust that is so important in so many ways at the Team and unit level.

Yes, we cheat, lie and steal but only for the best of reasons, but we don’t like: cheaters, liars, and thieves. You have been warned.

“Do your best” the minimum is never good enough!

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Old 11-29-2017, 03:01   #5
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As a teachable moment, may I play devil's advocate for a moment and argue the other sides possible position, not that I'm qualified to... but I'm sure those far more in the know can shed some light.

Could this be a "lesser of evils" situation...

There are more missions then can be filled by the current force.
Higher up says "build".
If USASFC doesn't build, the money and the mission will go elsewhere.
(i.e. MARSOC...the new SFAB, etc)

Is command stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Is the lesser evil here to lower standards, get the numbers through, keep the mission, keep the money, sideline the relatively small number of guys who aren't up to scratch.

Ya can hate it, but playing the game, and playing it well is a necessary evil.
The Army is after all a public sector creature, with all the issues that come with being a part of the public sector beast. Win the battles you can win, play the game with the battles you can't win. And choose your battles wisely.

I've always said that USASFC needed to take back the recruiting mission off USAREC, who aren't geared right to attract large numbers of quality 18x recruits.

Looking forward to learning from the replies.

S
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Last edited by Scimitar; 11-29-2017 at 04:40.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
As a teachable moment, may I play devil's advocate,,,


Is the lesser evil here to lower standards, get the numbers through, keep the mission, keep the money, sideline the relatively small number of guys who aren't up to scratch.

Ya can hate it, but playing the game, and playing it well is a necessary evil.



S
I'm not sure if my POV is going to be shared, but I'd love to have a conversation about this with you over a beer. I'll have my Blue Moon, and I'll buy you watered down light beer, or whatever it is you choose.


My quick stab at a response.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:31   #7
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I just read the email and came straight over to PS to see the word. I am sure as most of you before have heard such an argument before at some point in our careers (being in the last hard class and such) however, the author's argument has validity.
Dropping standards in our Regiment is nothing new. When congress mandated the expansion of SOF after the 9/11 attacks, after manning goals were not being met, we saw the 18X program implemented. At first big army recruiters did a good job over all, recruiting older, more mature types with some sort of life experience or college education. When goals were still not met we saw recruiting standards drop as well as physical standards (I believe when Parker was in charge when they changed standards and removed team week from SFAS which we all know separates the men from the boys). GT scores lowered from 110 to 106, and age lowered from 21 to 18, SOPC to ‘get you ready for selection’ vs an individual effort on your own time, etc. At the time, those in charge of SFAS and SWCS stated that standards weren't lowered. As a matter of fact I remember reading a dickdancing article in Sine Pari in which some shitbird careerist SWCS officer vehemently defended the new SFAS arguing that standards were not dropped. Technically, he was right since there are no standards during team week other than not quitting and being a team player.
Sadly, I don’t think we as vets or those still in can effect a change in the leaderships’ vision. For instance, when SOF positions were originally being considered being opened to women in 2015, there was a Rand survey we took in which questions that were posed as if the decision were already made. Shortly after, Votel and his CSM made a video explaining his cowardly position. BLUF; They can give a fuck less about what thousands of intelligent seasoned special operations combat vets had to say on the matter.
The only way to correct some of this BS was to work around what we were given. Fire guys, pull tabs, marginalize turds by giving them jobs outside of ODAs/ODBs, pressure them out of the Regiment by returning to the conventional army, etc. I don't see how we can pressure the jackasses in charge at SWCS or anywhere else in the Regiment for that matter, to do the right thing. As the author also stated, they have no skin in the game and have incentives to lower standards to further their own careers.
We know whose skin is in the game; the man in the arena and his brothers to his left and right.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:05   #8
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This dickdancing about numbers has been going on since they implemented SFOT/SFAS.

In 89 when our company was responsible for SFAS in/out processing I would step out on the company street on that Monday and have over 700 troops in the company. Only about 140 were "mine", the rest were SF candidates on their way to SFAS.

At 0600 the senior TAC would march them down to the PT field and turn them over to the SFAS committee. The out processing of the no goes began shortly after - and became a flood by the end of the week. The next two weeks were steady up to the last day.

The dickdancing began shortly after. Sure the selected folks were studs who could get along and most were squared away - but once in the Q the faults of the few came out. Since SWC had promised Big Army that SFAS would fix the attrition rate in the Q every termination was agonized over up at Bn level.

Group CSMs weren't stupid. A guy reporting in who spent 18 months in the Q and was an 18B - well, he had a number or recycles.
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Old 11-29-2017, 14:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
As a teachable moment, may I play devil's advocate for a moment and argue the other sides possible position, not that I'm qualified to... but I'm sure those far more in the know can shed some light.

Could this be a "lesser of evils" situation...

NO


There are more missions then can be filled by the current force.
Higher up says "build".
If USASFC doesn't build, the money and the mission will go elsewhere.
(i.e. MARSOC...the new SFAB, etc)

SOCOM went into the Senates Armed Forces committee hearing and said we need to get bigger in order to full fill mission needs.

Is command stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Is the lesser evil here to lower standards, get the numbers through, keep the mission, keep the money, sideline the relatively small number of guys who aren't up to scratch.

We are now...the missions we interjected SF into were not fit for an A-tm and we are not staffed to be a DA force.....we are force multipliers that does preparation and training with resistance forces and develops supporting infrastructure....we fight when our indig/host nation fights


Ya can hate it, but playing the game, and playing it well is a necessary evil.
The Army is after all a public sector creature, with all the issues that come with being a part of the public sector beast. Win the battles you can win, play the game with the battles you can't win. And choose your battles wisely.

Unless you are the leader of the game and have chosen battles we cannot win and at this stage those we must fight are sitting at star fleet level billets.....they are the ones who have not gone to bat to pull us back a little and better employ us where we should be employed....If GEN Thomas actually did refuse to grow the force then we are in the right direction finally the force applied to any problem set must be appropriate and the right application of type of response and best units designed to place against it. SF cannot do everything.

I've always said that USASFC needed to take back the recruiting mission off USAREC, who aren't geared right to attract large numbers of quality 18x recruits.

Looking forward to learning from the replies.

S
The teaching point here is for the candidate....the reality of the issues here are legitimate. Don't let this slow you down and by the same token you must be your brothers keeper in the Q.....if the guy has questionable ethics, character and morals when it comes to this career it is up to you guys to weed each other out....as you have read the cadre have been defanged in some ways...if you care you will do what it takes to run off bad candidates even if it requires some old school methods.
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Old 12-31-2017, 16:00   #10
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Originally Posted by tim30006 View Post
"The following email titled “Careerism, Cronyism, and Malfeasance in SWCS: The End of SF Capability” was sent via a mass blast through Special Operations Command (SOCOM) yesterday. The email was penned by a Special Forces instructor at Fort Bragg who is dismayed by slipping standards and careerism, providing a damning critique of what has been an ongoing issue as the Special Warfare Center and School for over a decade."


Edit to add: We saw the email the same time all of Special Forces did and decided not to post it. And we're not going to advertise it for the seals website.
Who could have seen this coming? Some years ago as a newly minted 18B I sat at the GB club, had a beer and was joined by an 18A. He showed me what was (will) happen to SF when mother army gets involved with SF. He had the bartender pour a shot of Johnny Walker Black into a glass and then as he poured water into it, he said: this is what mother army will do to SF! Over the years I've thought of what he said. As a guy who came into SF only wanting to be the best 18B/D I could be and never wanting to be an officer, I watch with dismay as the quality of what some of the best soldiers the Army ever fielded (I have to admit they were by and large mostly if not all NCOs, but as I think of it those officers that stood out in my mind were mustangs) would teach me during selection and beyond slowly starts to unravel or is asserted to. Having spent my whole career in only SF, half active and half reserve, incidentally the first half as an NCO and the latter half as an Officer. While in the latter half of my career I wasn't usually close enough to the pipeline to see standards eroding, I also learned early on that when the NCOs get roiled, there's some bad stuff happening. While I think it's good to air this, if this is occurring; I also fear that this may be the tip of the iceberg. PC correctness and inclusiveness will get someone killed. Unfortunately, that mindset doesn't stop advancing once it gets a foothold.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:29   #11
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SSDD

We had this same discussion in The Resistor, when I was an instructor at Camp Mackall. Every generation has this problem and we will continue to have this problem, as long as the focus is on numbers. This conversation used to piss me off and cause me to drink early. Okay, maybe it wasn't the conversation, but I realized I couldn't fix it from my level. All I could do was set the standard, reinforce the standard and write my assessments and evals based upon the standard. When higher wasn't listening, I increased the complexity of the scenarios to highlight the flaws of the student. When they were pushed through, I would write a "Heads up/I'm sorry" letter to the appropriate Group CSM. I found that effective, as I saw those students with flaws getting the necessary attention from their receiving units to mitigate their flaws. Still didn't fix the problem, but like they say....it was a small victory.

I think the long term fix will have to come from the NCO ranks (DUH!). We have been trying to get the O's to grasp the quality over quantity theory for years. I want every NCO responsible for mentoring and O, to try this on day 1: tape a brick to your left hand; say "Sir, this is quantity" and hit him with that hand until it leaves a mark. With your right hand, hand him a beer and say, "Sir, this is quality". Repeat until he gets the point. Maybe in 10-15 years, those officers properly trained will become the senior leaders and start fixing things. Or at least they will be afraid to mention Quantity.
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